Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be diagnosed as early as 18 months but professionals will suggest parents monitor and wait until age 3. Parents will actually predict their child’s later autism spectrum disorder long before any professional diagnosis. According to a 2009 research (J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009 Oct; 30(5): 367–375.),
Retrospective studies indicate that parents recognize signs of autism far earlier than it is diagnosed.
Parents start noticing warning signs from as young as 6 months to 2 years old. The child may display a range of early warning signs.
- The child does not respond to touch, cuddling or to being picked up.
- The child may learn to babble and gesture later than normal.
- The child may lose the ability to babble and gesture.
- The child may not react to external stimuli or respond to their name.
The constant monitoring by parents build up a pattern that makes it easier for them to suspect their child may have a developmental disorder. Even then, a professional diagnosis is difficult when the child is below 3 years old since different children develop so differently and at different paces. For example, a child that hasn’t engaged in any “baby talk” at 12 months may do so at 15 months.
The diagnosis at around 3 years old will yield a more accurate conclusion and still allows enough time for early intervention. Children who benefit from diagnosis and early intervention have the best chance for development and integration into society.
This ability to monitor, detect, and diagnose early are crucial in ensuring children get the early help they may require.
College of Allied Educators offers our Advanced Diploma in Special Education and Diploma in Learning Disorders Management and Child Psychology programmes to help you understand your child or the child in your care to more effectively help in their learning and development.
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