This whole month is being celebrated as ‘autism month’, this article is my small contribution to it.
When you are a new parent, you are really clueless about your baby, as clueless as I was when Eeshan was born. I am sure many will identify with this, when Eeshan cried I had no clue. He couldn’t speak or communicate, he could just cry. I have never felt so miserable and frustrated in my life. And if your partner is a little neurotic you should be ready for a breakdown every now and then. Well, at 1.5 months my husband was sure that my baby is color blind. At 3 months, he was worried that he was deaf. At 3 years my son was still speaking gibberish and my husband decided he had a learning disability. While I did handle all this with logical explanations, frantic google searches and almost driving the paediatrician and his teachers against the wall, my son is nothing but neurotypical. let’s see some indicators that you can use to know that all milestones are being met.
But before that let’s understand what is Autism or being on the spectrum mean?
Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Autism is a wide spectrum disorder, which means no two people with autism have the same symptoms.
Sometimes we tend to miss these or brush these signs off but it’s important to acknowledge and accept so that you start working out on this new life together. Acceptance will also help you understand your child better. A lot of parents are using this tracker to keep checking on their kid’s milestones.
You need to realise that your child will ;
- Need extra time for processing information
- Will be anxious in social situations
- Will be anxious in unexpected changes or events
- Will have high sensory needs ie the need to touch and feel
- Will have meltdowns in case of too much pressure
For the best outcome in treating Autism Spectrum Disorder, early diagnosis and intervention are critical. Best results are seen when structured early intervention is started by 18 months to two years. At this time, the brain is highly neuroplastic and responds well to intervention. Indulgent parents might miss the warning signs if their wards miss these developmental milestones, and then it is too late. A lot of parents remain in denial. As I said earlier, the earlier you recognise, the earlier you accept you will be able to understand your child.
Dr Uday Bodhankar, International President for Commonwealth Association For Health & Disability UK. “It is imperative to screen these infants at early age and at specified intervals to identify any developmental problems at the earliest so that an effective intervention programme can be created. Then they can lead a good quality life.”
There is no known cause or ‘cure’ for autism. This does not mean, however, that nothing can be done for a person with autism. It is your understanding and your care that they need. Don’t treat them differently as they are as sensitive as you, as intelligent as you and way more loving than you.