Autism Spectrum Disorders Early Signs and Diagnostic Tests

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition characterized by challenges in social interaction, communication, and the presence of repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. It often manifests in early childhood and affects individuals throughout their lives. In India, ASD is increasingly recognized, but awareness and understanding remain limited compared to global standards. This introductory section will explore the nature of ASD, its prevalence in India, and the importance of early detection and intervention.

Relevance in India
The context of ASD in India is unique due to cultural, social, and economic factors. Despite being one of the most populous countries, India faces challenges in providing adequate healthcare, education, and support for individuals with ASD. This section will delve into the Indian perspective on ASD, examining the country’s healthcare infrastructure, societal attitudes, and available support systems. Understanding these elements is crucial for addressing the needs of individuals with ASD and their families effectively.

Early Signs of Autism
Signs in the First Year of Life
Identifying ASD early in a child’s life is crucial for timely intervention. In many cases, signs of autism can be observed within the first year. These may include a lack of response to their name, limited eye contact, absence of babbling or pointing by age one, and not showing interest in objects. The following sections will provide a detailed overview of the early signs of autism in infants, emphasizing the importance of monitoring developmental milestones.

Signs at 12, 18, and 24 Months
As the child grows, the signs of autism become more pronounced. By 12 months, a child with autism might exhibit limited use of gestures, such as waving or pointing. By 18 months, there may be a noticeable delay in spoken language, and by 24 months, a child might not engage in two-word meaningful, spontaneous phrases.