Before we start exploring each shelf and opening books to learn more about the types of Autism, there is a reason you are researching the topic of Autism. If you already haven’t received a diagnosis yet, the reason why you want to know what Autism is is because you want the answer to “Does My Child Have Autism?”
As children grow parents start noticing their child development milestones. If you already had baby 1, you can’t help but compare your newborn with the first. I was always told that I shouldn’t be comparing Landon to Caitlin but I did. Like clock work, I started marking off those milestones and writing them in his baby book. Landon is starting to roll over…check, he is starting to crawl…check, sitting up…check, wow, he took his first step, Landon said his first word! Landon said his first….oh no! Nope, Landon didn’t say his first sentence. Caitlin said her first sentence and I remember it until this day. Dad (Les) just got ice cream from the ice cream truck and she was jumping up and down like crazy and said “Can I have bite?”
When I found that a piece was broken off from Landon’s child development milestones, I was trying to put together that missing piece along with the other missing pieces that I was noticing. I was too afraid to find out.
Well, Does my child have Autism? To answer this question, I researched the first 4 companies that appeared for the topic “Symptoms of Autism”. I found out that there are well over 20 symptoms of autism in children. I am going to give you the top 10 of the ones I feel are the most important.
- Unable to respond when spoken to
- Prefers to be alone
- Avoids eye contact
- Inability to understand emotions
- Delayed speech and language skills
- Insists on having specific routines or rituals
- Echolalia (repetitive phrases spoken over and over)
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, light and sound
- Repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, rocking or jumping
- Ritualistic behaviors such as lining up objects
When Landon wouldn’t respond when spoken to, my first thought was if he was deaf. Then I thought when does a young child ever want to listen to their parent? But he never even looked at me. It wasn’t until I was basically yelling at him, would he turn around. That made me very concerned.
When I brought the children to the health department for their physical, so they can be placed in daycare, the nurse performed child developmental assessments. As I sat there watching this, I noticed Landon being unresponsive to the nurse. When she asked him what a certain object was, he would take it and throw it on the floor. When she rang a bell he didn’t even turn around. I told her of my concern and she said, “Here is a 1-800 number to call. They will come to your house for free and evaluate him. It may be something or it may be nothing and it will give you peace of mind.”
I held onto that number and was so afraid to tell Les what I was thinking. I almost threw it in the trash because I thought it was nothing and he’ll grow out of it. I talked to Les and he said, “If you are worried about Landon, call.”
I was scared, but I did call and two ladies arrived and walked me through a Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale. Did I find out if he had Autism that day…Nope, but they placed him in the Pennyroyal Center where he received therapy for several days a week.
If you are concerned that your child has the symptoms of Autism, please do not hesitate. Call your medical professional right away. I cannot stress enough the importance of Early Intervention.