The one thing that every parent wishes for is to have a healthy and typical child. However, unfortunately, that is not always going to happen. That means there is always a chance that parents will end up bringing a child into this world that may have special needs of some sort.
And the signs of a child having a disability are quite usually quite apparent in babyhood. For instance, a baby has a condition such as blindness that will show the signs very early on by not noticing objects, your face, or anything else. If a baby has an auditory deficiency or deafness, then the baby will not respond to what he or she is supposed to hear. This oftentimes makes parents wonder because of the fact that the babies are not responding to what they hear in their environment, they may worry their babies could have autism.
And autism is, unfortunately, a very prevalent disability that is only increasing. A child with autism has no problems with usually with hearing, but are oftentimes unresponsive to anyone and anything in their environments. Other signs of autism to look out for are:
- No smiling at people by the age of 6 months.
- Eye contact is very poor.
- Not showing an interest or curiosity in anything or anyone as typically developing babies (or babies that have special needs that don’t include autism) are quite exploratory and curious.
- No pointing, gestures that are meaningful, or babbling by 12 months.
- Attachments to items that seem to be unusual but are not attached to caregivers.
- No single-word phrases by 18 months.
- No two-word phrases by 24 months.
- An intense fascination in spinning or flashy objects to the point of staring at them for more than 5 minutes at a time.
- Spinning and stacking objects.
- If your baby has acquired skills as a typical infant would and loses those skills during toddlerhood, that can be a sign of autism as well.
If a child is not responsive to his or her environment, then it is always best to take your child to a hearing testing center to rule out deafness. And if deafness is ruled out, then autism may be likely. And once it is suspected your child has autism based on the criteria listed above, the immediate thing parents should do is get their child into early intervention therapies. This can increase the chances of the child being successful later on in life, which can mean they may be able to go on and live a typical life.
Unfortunately, however, that is not always the case as it depends on the situation.
Another thing to look for in autism is physical milestones such as crawling and walking. Sometimes that is delayed as well as some kids with autism don’t always begin to walk until they are 18 to 24 months.
However, if your child does not have signs of autism and is not hitting physical milestones in a timely manner, then there is another special need causing a physical disability that will need to be checked on.
Regardless of what type of disability your child may be showing signs of, it means for the parents that they will need to take their children to doctors, specialists, and therapists often. And for parents that have children with any type of special need must be sure they are getting the right type of supports – both physical and emotional as caring for a child with special needs requires a lot more energy, work, and patience.
If you know of a parent who has a child with any type of special need, be sure to show them kindness and offer to help them in ways that you realistically can. They need help and support from others, and your sincere offer will be very appreciated.