Autism is a qualitative difference in relating and communicating. The Autistic child can relate and communicate but does so uniquely according to their individual differences. In addition, many children with Autism experience fluctuations in intensity of processing sensations in their daily experience. Sometimes sensory input can be overwhelming and too much and sometimes more sensory input is needed to register a sensation. Some children experience a mix of highs and lows in sensory processing. It is important to pay attention to a child's response to sensory information because it impacts a child's ability to regulate and remain in a calm alert state so they can take in the world. The most important thing a parent can do is to remain calm and seek to comfort and understand your child's individual differences. It is also important to see help from your pediatrician, because an early diagnosis is key to getting the type of intervention that will best meet your child's needs. Below I have listed some early signs of Autism and have included a link for the CSBS-DP which is a checklist that will help you determine whether or not your child may be at risk for an Autism Spectrum Disorder or social communication challenges.
In the FIrst Year
Will not make eye contact
Will not respond to parent’s voice
Will not respond to their name
Will not smile or laugh in response to others behavior
Rarely tries to imitate sounds and movements
Babbling is delayed or infrequent
Does not use gestures to communicate by 18 months.
Rarely seeks attention
Repeatedly stiffens arms, hands or legs, or uncommon postures
Delays in motor development