The United States is seeing more and more diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders. In fact, one in 50 school-aged children are currently diagnosed with some form of autism spectrum disorder. As parents, it’s important to know and understand that having children with special needs comes with a great deal of responsibility. Providing help for children with autism mean finding the right special education programs that helps to fit your child’s unique needs — both educational and emotional.
Recognizing your child’s learning disability from an early age is important, as early intervention can help children with autism with their development and growth. However, it can be difficult to tell. Understanding the signs of autism is essential to helping to provide your child with the best resources and educational opportunities possible.
The Signs of Autism
In the eyes of professional clinicians, children need to exhibit the signs of autism before they reach the age of three. Since autism is a neural disorder, a child cannot “come down” with autism or develop it onset. Symptoms can, however, become exacerbated if not treated.
Here are a few red flags that might indicate that your child is at risk of being on the spectrum:
- 6 months: no smiles, warmth, or joyful expressions
- 9 months: no reciprocation of noises, smiles, or any other facial expressions
- 12 months: no babbling or speaking
- 12 months and on: no reciprocal gestures, like pointing or waving
What to do next
If your child exhibits one or any of these symptoms, you should contact your child’s primary care doctor for consultation immediately. They will be able to properly diagnose your child and take the appropriate steps from there.
Eventually, you will have to decide what kind of education your child needs. When that time comes, you must obtain an IEP that will fully outline your child’s educational needs. From there, you will have to decide on either a special education school or a public school that has a special education program.
Your child with autism has a bright future ahead of them. The best you can do is be prepared, open, and ready for anything.