As a parent, there are few less desirable scenarios than finding out that your own child has a problem with their health or development that could prove to be long-term. Of course, the vast majority of parents are so incredibly cautious with their own children that it is wholly impossible for any potential problem not to be detected and nipped in the bud – they call in the professionals at the drop of a hat. However, in certain cases there are instances where tell-tale signs of developmental issues are either overlooked or interpreted as simple and healthy stages of a child’s development, when they may in fact be something far more serious. Knowing where to draw the line is difficult, which is why it is always advisable to err on the side of caution.
Autism represents a case-in-point example of a condition for which early detection is absolutely crucial. Quite simply the younger a child is when autism is diagnosed, the more effective the resulting treatment can be. Of course, this doesn’t mean that treatment cannot be incredibly effective for children of all ages and even adults, but it’s a case of nipping things in the bud where possible before allowing them to progress and worsen. It may be a much simpler communication issue that demands a brief course of speech and language therapy, but just in case there’s something more serious at play it’s important to understand the basics.
What’s often overlooked is the fact that as a parent, it is actually you and you alone that has the very best vantage point from which to look for and identify possible signs of autism. The problem here is that not only are many of the symptoms and signs of autism anything but blindingly obvious, but it’s almost impossible for a therapist or doctor to diagnose a case of autism with a simple 20-minute visit to the clinic. Rather than single signs and symptoms, it’s more a case of noting behavioural patterns and more recurrent abnormalities which in conjunction with one another could indicate a case of autism.
Professional advice is always recommended at the earliest possible juncture should you have even the slightest of doubts, though it’s largely up to you to keep an eye out for any unusual signs and symptoms:
In terms of what specifically you as a parent can do to help ensure a prompt diagnosis where and when autism may be detected, most of it comes down to little more than common sense and proactivity.
A simple and obligation-free consultation can bring peace of mind that’s priceless – early autism detection is an important parental responsibility.