GMB: Chris Packham opens up on his autism diagnosis
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When it comes to autism diagnosis, early assessment and intervention are “crucial” for a child’s long-term success, National Autism Center reports. Signs in children can manifest in different ways. Here is one warning sign affecting the eyes that parents might be able to spot early.
Autism can typically appear during the early years of life, according to the National Autism Center.
One early sign in children can be poor eye contact.
The tendency to avoid eye contact is one of the early indicators of autism spectrum disorder.
The hesitance often persists throughout life, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information research.
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The research reports that eye contact difficulties may underlie social cognitive deficits in people with autism.
Social cognition describes a set of cognitive processes applied to the recognition, understanding, accurate processing and effective use of social cues in real-world situations.
Hesitancy to form eye contact might create significant social and occupational barriers, the research says.
That’s why researchers often focus on this topic and it also receives substantial clinical attention.
Apart from poor eye contact, there are other early signs that might help you to spot whether your child is autistic.
These signs include:
- No social smiling by 6 months
- No one-word communications by 16 months
- No two-word phrases by 24 months
- No babbling, pointing, or meaningful gestures by 12 months
- Not showing items or sharing interests
- Unusual attachment to one particular toy or object
- Not responding to sounds, voices, or name
- Loss of skills at any time.
Autism signs can sometimes be different in girls and boys.
Autistic girls may be quieter, hide their feelings and appear to cope better in social situations, the NHS reports.
This might make it harder to spot autism in girls.
If you’re concerned about any signs your child is showing, talk to your GP, National Autism Center advises.
Other places where you could seek advice according to the NHS are health visitors, special educational needs (SENCO) staff at your child’s school or any other health professional your child sees.
The NHS also stresses the importance of early diagnosis to help your child get any extra support they might need.
The only way to find out for sure whether your child is autistic is through an assessment done by an autism specialist.
The autism specialist might ask about your child’s problems, observe how they interact with others and speak to people who know your child well.
The NHS encourages parents to write a list of the signs they spotted in their children before the appointment.
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