Early Signs of Autism in Infants
As moms, it seems we have that seventh sense. I don’t even like to call it a sixth sense because quite frankly, a lot of people have a sixth sense about something. But, the one we have as moms is even different from that – it is a unique maternal instinct.
The maternal instinct of a woman is unlike that of any other, and it is one that can truly pick up on things most people would miss…
But, sometimes, we can also find ourselves feeling as though we are receiving mixed signals. Especially when mom mode kicks in, we can easily wonder if what we are perceiving as a sign that something is wrong is in fact just a normal aspect of our child that we are overthinking.
When it comes to things like ADHD, autism, and other disorders children might experience though, there are a few signs we should be aware of:
A Lack Of Smiling
When you smile at your infant, do they respond with that warm and joyful smile? Do they smile randomly on their own? Or, do they seem to not smile much at all?
By the time they are 6 months old, infants should be displaying big smiles and happy expressions – both when prompted and on their own.
Their Imitation Of Social Cues Is Rare
When others move and make sounds, does your child mock them?
If your child is not imitating sounds and movements of laughter, smiles, and other facial expressions by the time they are 9 months old, this could be an early sign they might have autism.
They Don’t Respond To Their Name
Of course, each child has to have that learning period where they figure out what their name is.
But, by the time they are between 6 and 23 months of age, they should begin to show some responsiveness to their name. Unresponsiveness could demonstrate hearing problems, but it could also demonstrate early signs of autism.
A Lack Of Seeking Attention
Does your child actively reach up to be held? Do they initiate cuddling or make noises and movements to try to get your attention?
Your child should be actively interacting with you and display an interest in getting your attention, at least occasionally. But, an early sign of autism could be that this rarely happens because they are struggling to bond.
A Lack Of Making Gestures
By the age of 9 or 10 months, most children reach the milestone of waving goodbye and pointing or reaching for things. They actively make gestures to interact with other people and the things around them.
But, an infant showing early signs of autism might show a lack of gestures and communication.
Delayed Motor Development
One of the top early signs of autism is delayed motor development. Your infant should be reaching each significant milestone of sitting up, pushing up, crawling, jumping and so forth.
If you notice these early signs, don’t worry. These are not a sure sign of autism, but it is worth discussing the early signs with your doctor.
And, should your child be diagnosed with autism, there are several things out there to help them and make your life easier:
One great tool for autistic children, and especially those fussy babies who just can’t seem to sleep, is a weighted blanket. The benefits of autism weighted blankets are that they satisfy the sensory needs of a child while also encouraging their body to relax and fall asleep.
Sleeping can be quite difficult for a child or infant with autism, but this can help make bedtime easier.
Watch your infant for these early signs of autism so all questions, concerns, and issues can be quickly addressed upfront.