Recent scientific findings show that many younger siblings of autistic children are likely to display autistic neurological signs before the age of 3. This doesn’t mean all siblings of autistic children will be affected, but the signs are present at a younger age than was previously thought. Medical professionals and other dedicated people, including Lindsey Stone, want to delve further into autistic signals so children can be diagnosed early on.
Importance of Consistent Doctor Checkups
Parents of newborns are well aware of the numerous doctor’s appointments necessary to keep their child healthy. Wellness evaluations and shots are commonplace for any baby. These evaluations also include observation for normal behaviors. Each month of life in the first year has proven milestones, from rolling over to babbling. Any developmental concerns should always be brought up during doctor visits. These issues can be explored further to verify their importance. Dealing with a small issue head-on typically stops it from snowballing into a more serious one.
Noticing the Signs
If a baby doesn’t respond to their name or is absorbed in their own world, bring it up with your doctor. There may be no major evidence of a developmental problem, but families with older autistic siblings have a higher chance of developing the same disorder in a baby brother or sister. Doctors can perform tests on infants to see where development is heading. In children as young as 18 months, autism can be detected with modern testing techniques. These tests are often performed over several months to truly track changes in the growing child. Behaviors can still be classified as growth stages, but diagnosing possible autism early is critical to quality of life.
Clear by Age 3?
Scientists conclude that 20 percent of autistic families with new siblings can develop the disorder by 3 years old. However, these cases are now being discovered at 18 months in a whopping 57 percent of children. With these statistics in mind, families have a good chance of knowing if a child is autistic even before preschool. You shouldn’t be complacent after this time period, however. Keep an eye out for any signature autistic behaviors if the family already has an autistic child. You want to help your child deal with the disorder if it does arise.
Early Detection Helps Integrate a Child
Knowing if a child has autism before school begins gives parents a chance to find the right program for their family. Autism has many variations across the spectrum, making it crucial to identify the exact nature of your child’s autistic behaviors. Children will transition into school with more confidence and happiness when the disorder is treated correctly. Specialized classes, for instance, help the autistic child focus more compared to a standard classroom with many distractions. Ignoring neurological signs only heightens the child’s issues in school and beyond. These new scientific findings are helping families deal with autism as they merge into school life.
Autism continues to be a disorder with many unanswered questions. Watching infants, toddlers and children develop the distinct autistic behaviors is just a stepping stone to understanding the entire spectrum of the issue. Parents must play a part in observing their children for any early issues from birth, from poor eye contact to isolating behaviors.