Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition present from early childhood. Autistic individuals may face challenges in socialising and interacting with others, display repetitive behaviour, and have difficulty with expressing verbal and non-verbal communication.
Early diagnosis, treatment and proper support is important to helping individuals with autism thrive and overcome their challenges to reach their full developmental potential.
Although the main cause of autism remains uncertain, child experts believe genetics are a main contributing factor in the development of autism. While there is no conclusive scientific evidence, researchers suspect there is a link between an abnormal gene and an individual becoming more prone to developing autism when combined with certain conditions such as chemical imbalance, viruses or chemical exposure, or a lack of oxygen at birth.
Despite many concerns in the medical community regarding mercury-containing vaccines resulting in the development of autism, numerous studies have failed to establish a link between autism and MMR vaccine or other vaccines. Therefore, it is important to ensure that children receive their childhood vaccinations regularly to prevent serious diseases that can be life-threatening.
Signs of autistic behaviour in children typically appear between 2 – 3 years of age. In some cases, autism disorders can be diagnosed as early as 15 to 18 months.
Symptoms of autism in young children include:
Responding to others:
Interaction with others:
If your child has autism, the best solution is to seek help and start treatment immediately. Do not wait and hope that your child will eventually catch up to his or her peers or outgrow the problem. The earlier your child receives treatment, the greater the success rate. Early intervention is the most effective way to help your child reach their development potential and manage the symptoms of autism as they grow up.
Read other brain developmental issues related to babies and young children:
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