What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a child’s social communication, relationships, and speech and language development. ASD may be diagnosed when a child reaches preschool or 3 years of age (or in a few cases much older). However, with the advent of new research in neurosciences, the early warning signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder can be identified from 6 months onwards.

Children with ASD exhibit a combination of behaviors: communication and social skill deficits, as well as restricted or repetitive behaviors. It’s called a spectrum disorder because people with it can have many symptoms, cognitive abilities, language skills, and behaviors.

Early signs/symptoms

Signs of autism in early childhood include:

  • No response when parents and family call them with their name
  • Eye contact is not as expected at a certain age
  • Social smile is mostly missing
  • Getting upset due to a specific taste, smell, sound, place, or height 
  • Repetitive movements, such as flapping hands, flicking fingers, or rocking 
  • Speech is not developing after two years
  • If speech is present, it is repetitive, not spontaneous, and sometimes meaningless