Autism – Understanding The Bigger Picture

Posted on Healthcare By DoctorUna - Published on 2019-02-05

As a parent, you will always want your baby to be healthy and disease-free. There are many health issues that are best healed when treated early. Autism is one such medical condition,  a type of neuro-developmental disorder. Autism symptoms in a child are usually detected in early childhood.

What is Autism?

Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) causes communication and behavioural complications.

Children under the age of two years who are detected with autism have a greater chance of getting positive results through therapy. Early care can help your child to grow, heal, learn and thrive. You can minimise autism symptoms through medical or alternative treatment.

Autism Symptoms Check-list

Learn to spot the early signs of autism. As a parent, you must be totally aware of your child's behavioural pattern and other quirks. You can also pass this information to your paediatrician.

  • Monitoring the Child's Development – One of the important things you can do is to keep a close watch on your child's development, whether he/she is showing all signs of proper evolution in terms of emotional and cognitive occurrence (according to the age group). Any developmental delays can be considered as a potential risk factor.
  • Importance of Timely Action – Some kids may develop at a slower pace than others. But, it doesn't necessarily mean that the child is suffering from autism. If your child is a little late to speak or walk, you can observe and check if he has reached specific cognitive milestones. If not, share your concerns with a reputed paediatrician immediately.
  • Do Not Wait – It is not advisable to wait and delay medical attention. Autism-affected children seldom grow out of their issues to enjoy normal lives. The child with autism symptoms needs expert guidance and care along with targeted autism treatment.  
  • Gut Instinct – Always trust your inner instincts when you feel that there is some problem with your child's development. Ideally, in such cases, you can fix an appointment with a child development specialist or get a second opinion from other medical experts.

Prominent Signs of Autism in Toddlers

  • Doesn’t make eye contact while smiling or at feeding times
  • Doesn't respond to being called (by name) or to a familiar sound
  • Is not able to follow the movement of certain objects or gestures, especially when you point out things
  • Is not able to wave goodbye or use normal gestures to convey something
  • Not able to catch your attention
  • No response to cuddling
  • Doesn’t know to copy or imitate any movements
  • Not being able to play normally with other kids
  • Doesn't care if you are hurt or suffering

Childhood Autism Spectrum Test

CAST is a yes-no evaluation test with 30 to 40 list of items. It is a test to be answered by the parents and a question-set, prepared by top-most research scholars at reputed autism centres, is provided. This test is done to assess the intensity of autism spectrum symptoms in kids.  

Autism Causes

This medical disorder is mostly caused by defective genes or other varied factors like lack of oxygen during birth and chemical imbalances. Non-genetic cause includes prenatal exposure to a peculiar virus known as Rubella.

Other causes of Autism include the following:

  • Intake of anti-depressants during the time of pregnancy (during the initial 3 months)
  • Not getting nutritional energy such as folic acid, vitamin D during early pregnancy period
  • Paternal age factor leading to the development of autism symptoms in the children (the older the parents, the higher is the autism risk)
  • Complications such as very low weight at the time of birth or newborn suffering from neonatal anaemia
  • Poor maternal health during the pregnancy period
  • Exposure to dangerous pollutants like pesticides and metallic substances during pregnancy


What are the three main symptoms of autism?

The three primary symptoms of autism include lack of social skills, poor communication skills, and abnormal behavioural pattern.

What are prominent signs or symptoms indicating autism in a baby?

The absence of normal baby activities like smiling, making eye contact, responding to his/her name being called, baby babbling and natural curiosity for new places or objects.

What are the three different types of autism?

  1. Classic Autism – Example: abnormal behaviour, lack of communicative skills, and significant language delays
  2. Asperger Syndrome – Mild symptoms excluding language delays or intellectual handicap
  3. Pervasive Disorder (atypical autism) – Very few symptoms of autistic disorder with mild communicative or social challenges

Can you have mild autism?

Yes, you may have mild autism symptoms (asperger syndrome and persuasive developmental disorder).

Autism can be treated for bringing about effective changes in a child. If you detect possible autism signs in your child, it is best to consult your paediatrician to fix an appointment with a therapist or developmental specialist for detailed diagnostic evaluation.


About Author

DoctorUna launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2012, Egypt and Jordan in 2013 and recently in Kuwait in 2014. The purpose of DoctorUna is to allow patients to quickly search for doctors from across a broad range of specialties, compare them and easily book a convenient appointment. DoctorUna gives doctors access to a larger pool of patients, streamlines and better manages their appointment booking process so they can spend more time caring for patients.

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