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How to recognize signs of autism in children under 1 year old? A photo


Such a diagnosis is not a sentence. It is important to understand in time that something has gone wrong.

Why is the incidence of autism increasing? It's simple - the doctors have learned to better diagnose and detect it. There are many reasons: genetic “breakdowns”, environmental degradation, features of the course of pregnancy and childbirth in the mother, metabolic disturbances.

Or maybe outgrow?

The child’s unusual behavior is not necessarily an autistic symptom. But it is worth paying attention to a specialist (the sooner the better).

In autistic spectrum disorders, it is early intervention that gives the best result. There are sensitive (susceptible) periods in the development of a child - they are most favorable for mastering skills and mental properties appropriate to age. It is important not to miss them.

Key symptoms

There are a lot of signs of autism and they appear in each child in their own way. This complicates the diagnosis, but fThere are several signs that are inherent in all children with such a disorder:

  • communication disorders (verbal and non-verbal communication with the help of eyes, facial expressions or gestures),
  • socialization and motor (motor) stereotypes.

The latter is an aimless repetition of some movements, actions. For example, a child shakes an object for a long time in his face, makes strange rotations with his hands, runs around the room for hours or swings back and forth on a chair, closing his eyes and ears.

Autistic children so calm themselves, moving away from unpleasant external influences. This behavior can be in healthy children and adults. Often during strong excitement we make some unconscious movements - twist the pencil in the hand, wind the hair around the finger, “crunch” with the fingers or tap rhythmically with the foot.

But the stereotypes of children with autism are not as harmless as subtle obsessive actions in healthy people. Often they not only look strange and annoy others, but also harm an autistic child: they deprive him of a mental tone and “energy” for development.

What are the criteria for the diagnosis of the smallest?

Over the past few years and in 2018, one in every 68 children has been diagnosed with autism. Boys are more at risk: 1 to 42, while only 1 out of 190 girls is diagnosed. Interestingly, in 2013, 1 out of 88 children fell ill, and in 2008, a prevalence of 1: 150 was recorded.

Several types of the disease fall under the classification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but they are united in that the first signs (oddities in behavior) appear in early childhood.

A study by Warren Jones from the Marcus Autism Center in the United States showed that it was possible to competently suggest autism almost immediately after birth. The technique consists in tracking the ability to focus the eyes in infants 1-3 months (then periodically monitored up to 2 years). Since this is an American study, the equipment involved was recorded that recorded minimal discrepancies.

A person alone will not be able to track signs of deviation from the norm, but the authors gave valuable advice to parents. “Basically, newborns look into the eyes of those who approach them, but after 1-1.5 months, the concentration in the eyes of all children decreases. After 2 months, we observe how neurotypical children again begin to concentrate on the eyes of a person who attracts their attention, and those who were later diagnosed with autism continue to focus less and less on their interlocutor. During the first 6 months, we see how autistic people have less eye contact and focus on people's faces, ”the study says.

An ambitious Russian study showed another effective way to distinguish healthy children from autism patients aged 3-4 months. Investigated the health of mechanisms orientational sensitivity visual system, which in children with autism is impaired. According to Tatyana Stroganova, head of research at the Moscow State Pedagogical University, the brain of a healthy person quickly recognizes vertical and horizontal deviations using inhibitory interneurons, and one of the essential signs of autism is inhibition of inhibition. The study involved 78 children, divided into 2 groups: healthy and newborns with presumed autism.

Children were seated in front of the monitor screens, which displayed 2 pictures with lines for comparison. Flat vertical and near vertical with a slight deviation. Similarly horizontal lines: flat and with a slight slope. The study showed a significant difference between the groups. It turned out that one of the signs of autism is the inability to distinguish the angle of inclination of vertical lines. Autistic guys could not show in which direction uneven stripes deviate. It is noteworthy that when evaluating the horizontal lines there were no differences.

Any regression is a serious reason to suspect autism.

Suppose your child develops, as expected, has already begun to say “mother”, “aunt”, “give”, “am”, smiles and laughs, but suddenly he closes and you can’t get a single word out of him. All kinds of persuasions, games, the arrival of good friends do not cause a smile, the child moves away and does not make contact.

Another option - children with autism refuse to play games that require social activity, for example, “cuckoo”, “frogs”, “magpie-crow”, “bag with a surprise”, “hide and seek” or stop waving “goodbye”.

Loss of skills: babbling, speaking, gesturing, sculpting or breaking social contacts (for no reason) must be taken very seriously - this is one of the main signs of autism.

Signs of autism in children under 1 year old

A psychologist and a child are sitting at a table opposite each other - a suspicion of autism. There are several toys in front of the boy, he chose a shapeless soft animal and began to swing him near his ear with a mysterious look, as if trying to guess the contents of a Christmas present.

Meanwhile, the doctor makes notes:

- Have you noticed before that he downloaded toys? - the psychologist asks the parents.

“He shakes everything,” his mother answers.

- What else does he like to download?

- Previously, it was a nipple or any object with a ring. He put his thumb in there and rocked back and forth.

- And now he will download this toy constantly?

The psychologist offers other toys, games, makes gestures with his hands, tries to provoke a child's reaction to sounds, while continuing to take notes. Then the doctor opens the book, referring to the patient, shows the picture. The boy takes a book and shakes himself.

All children do funny things that parents can find cute or alarming. Do not attach much importance to small oddities. More importantly, what the child cannot or cannot do. He does not listen, does not look at mom and dad, does not try to make contact and share his impressions.

Some symptoms of autism in children under one year of age are misinterpreted by parents and, unfortunately, by doctors. For example, a situation where the baby seems calm, independent and undemanding. Many attribute these qualities to the concept of a “good, exemplary” child. Most likely, it is, but there is little chance that this is an early sign of autism. The criterion of “calmness and complaisance” should be taken into account when combined with other manifestations of autism or if the child has dramatically changed behavior or regresses in other areas.

First symptoms

Autism in newborns is manifested not by deviations in behavior, but by the absence of normal features, underdevelopment, or strangeness. Most children with autism do not respond to hugs, do not want to be picked up, do not maintain eye-to-eye contact, in general, as it may seem, do not pay attention to what is happening and are “locked in their own world”.

Nevertheless, a newborn even with severe autism can choose 1-2 people with whom he is comfortable, and provide them with a few signs of attention (this feature is also found in healthy children).

Classic signs of autism. So your child:

  • doesn’t look into the eyes when it’s near (for example, while feeding), does not smile in response to a smile,
  • Doesn’t respond to his name (doesn’t react in any way), Doesn’t show emotions, having heard a familiar voice,
  • doesn’t follow toys or gestures, doesn’t get interested when you show something interesting,
  • does not use a pointing gesture, does not wave at a farewell, even if you ask, does not use other means of communication,
  • doesn’t try to get your attention, it seems that he would sit or lie until he really wants to eat,
  • Does not try to copy the actions and facial expressions of other children and adults,
  • She doesn’t want to play with other people, and emotions are either absent or do not correspond to the general mood and situation, “off topic”,
  • Don't worry if hurt, doesn't seem to feel pain.

Characteristic autistic features in children at different ages.

Child ageSigns
Six months (6 months)No smile, no more warm and joyful expressions
9 monthsDoes not respond to a smile, words, the baby does not make sounds and does not change facial expression in response to changed circumstances
1 year (12 months)There is no reaction when one is called by name, there is no babble and unclear, incoherent speech typical of a growing newborn
1-1.5 years (up to 18 months)
Does not pronounce words, there are no reciprocating movements, for example, pointing gesture, demonstration of objects, attempt to reach an object or waving
2 years (24 months)Does not independently pronounce meaningful phrases of 2-3 words (it does not count if the baby speaks memorized phrases, imitating or repeating after someone)

Asocial Behavior

Factors that attract the attention of others. I would like to ask what is wrong with a child when he:

  1. It seems disinterested, being near peers, does not notice other people and does not fully understand what is happening around.
  2. He does not know how to start a conversation with another child, offer a game or make friends.
  3. Cannot play games when it is necessary to pretend or use imagination, avoids group games.
  4. Avoids touch.
  5. He does not understand emotions, cannot talk about his feelings.
  6. Does not indicate things that interest him, does not try to share his impressions and achievements (does not show drawings).
  7. It seems unheard when someone starts a conversation with him.

For example, one child:

If you do not find fault, then E. is an ordinary child. He plays, runs to eat, when his name is, he does not always obey, but I manage. But the son, it seems, does not cope when he has to show himself in society. Now I'm not trying, but at 9 months I took him to the playground. I wanted to see how he would react to other children. It all ended with a wild hysteria (I don’t know if they still remember him, it seems, yes).

Now he is 1 year and 3 months old. When E. sees another person, it doesn’t matter, an adult or a child, he tenses up, looks from underneath. It is evident that he is uncomfortable and even scared. It gets worse when people try to talk to him or wait for something (for example, a reaction). It all looks like my son lives in a dysfunctional family and every day he sees strangers who do not treat him very well.

Children with autism spectrum disorders find it difficult to live in society, they are much more comfortable being alone with themselves. Surrounding is also not easy. For example, if a child has a stomach ache, he becomes more irritable and capricious, but does not indicate a source of excitement.

Speech difficulties

  • Does not understand simple instructions and questions.
  • He does not understand the problems and desires of other people, cannot correctly communicate his own. For example, instead of a verbal request, he simply takes an adult's hand and leads wherever he plans.
  • Too literally perceives everything that he saw or heard. He does not know how to distinguish humor and irony from attempts to humiliate and insult.

  • For example, one child:

    A. never had a delay in speech development, he overcame this stage in time, but he uses speech not like everyone else. He easily says, he can convey his idea, the vocabulary is much higher than the age norm. However, at 2 years, it is difficult for him to be given coordinated phrases even from 2 words.

    The child remembers fragments of the script from films and cartoons, remembers small songs completely and often sings them to fill the void in conversation. He can say “milk”, “juice”, “cup”, but he never says these words when he wants to drink. Even turning to mom and dad says a chant.

    Often, children with autism start talking late, but if the baby says the first words on time, the disease will still be different from the norm.

    Nonverbal Communication Issues

    Newborns with autism behave atypically, even when words are not expected from them:

    1. Avoid eye contact.
    2. Facial expression does not match what is being discussed.
    3. They do not perceive and do not analyze changes in facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures of other people.
    4. Unusual reaction to representations, sounds, smells and textures. Sensitivity to loud noises and ignoring incoming and outgoing people are the most common symptoms.
    5. Strange posture and manner of movement, clumsiness.
    6. Minimum of small movements, no smoothness. It may seem that the child imitates a robot or is very cold towards others.

    For example, one child:

    We never look at one thing at a time when we are walking.

    Although our baby is only 8 months old, we have already managed to visit museums, the philharmonic society together and just often walk around the city. There are objects that attract us, we look and discuss, and N. often turns away. Her face is as if nothing is happening at all, she is sitting at home, and alone in the room. Even if we are not only watching, another 5-10 people, the reaction is zero. True, from loud noises trembles and closes the ears. In general, if something is annoyed, it quickly gets tired, then cries and suffers.

    There never was: “Mom, look at this plane” or “Dad, what are you doing?” When we talk or guests come, the expression on the face of the child rarely changes. At the same time, N. makes it possible to hold himself in his arms even to those people who are poorly known. She is afraid or dislikes only those who stand out with something (perfume, bright makeup, loud speech). It is worth such a person to approach, and our N. immediately in tears.

    The most striking problems are the recognition and selection of subtle non-verbal signals. Autists at a subconscious level do not understand the principle of “take and give”, they can be tough, not show sympathy and respect for loved ones, but at the same time they are the same children as others. It is worth explaining how to behave better and why it is necessary, positive changes occur in the speed of 90% of the guys.

    How does a typical autistic behave at 1 year?

    Qualities of character and behavior of a child at 1 year old due to neurological problems in autism:

    1. Strong attachment to certain toys or objects. He plays in such a way that a healthy child would definitely not be interested (he spins the wheel of the car, disconnects and connects the parts, builds, destroys and then builds again, composes objects in a certain order).
    2. For half an hour, he can stare at a moving object.
    3. It’s hard to get used to the changes. For example, throws a tantrum if toys in the arena or furniture in the room were rearranged during his absence.
    4. Repeats the same actions constantly, for example, claps his hands, sways, spins around him. These are manifestations of self-stimulating behavior (incentives, stereotypes). Clinicians believe that children with autism use incentives to calm down.

    For example, one child:

    M. is an unusual child, and if you look at her, you will notice some oddities. Suddenly, she begins to wave her hands, like an alarmed conductor, and seems to be unable to stop. Then he puts a finger in his mouth. Sometimes he waves his hands, as if soaring. These movements are persistent and especially surprising when we go outside.

    I am sitting in a cafe with friends, feeding the baby with milk taken with me, and M. spread her arms and waves them like wings. This does not prevent her from looking at her famous objects on the background of an empty wall, spitting milk and smiling periodically, in spite of no one.

    She rotates, claps her fingers and hands, especially when she is very excited or tense. My friends used to ask (before the diagnosis) why my child is so strange: he walks on tiptoe, tilts his head, squinting his eyes, banging his teeth, covering his ears with his hands. Yes, my child is special, but he is mine.

    It is necessary to identify autism or other developmental delays in a child under 1 year old, if only because parents need to know what causes unusual behavior so as not to get annoyed. Autists often seem "limited", do not succumb to the "classical" methods of education, can be intrusive, but all these are manifestations of the disease and have a weak connection with character.

    Digestive and Digestive Disorders

    In 40% of autistic children, gastrointestinal disorders are detected, and quite serious ones. Most often, lactase deficiency is diagnosed, in 10% inflammation of the mucous membrane of the esophagus. About 5% of autists suffer from chronic gastritis, colitis and / or duodenal inflammation.

    Следующим симптомам в большинстве тестов на аутизм уделяется 25 % внимания, если они проявляются хронически или периодически возобновляются:

    • понос,
    • запор,
    • leftover undigested food in the stool,
    • intelligibility in food, categorical refusal to eat certain foods or dishes (not related to allergies or other obvious reasons).

    Neurological signals

    Trouble sleeping in autistic babies, parents are harassed. Up to 6 months, this is understandable, but it will not work to accustom the regimen further. Children with autism may not notice whether it is day or night, it is difficult to lay them down, and you have to lull them more than once (wake up after 1-2 hours).

    Cramps Unknown genesis is usually frightening to parents, but they indicate serious malfunctions in the structure of the brain or the functioning of the nervous system (as is the case with autism).

    Some children do not feel pain, others cry from any touch, but all these are consequences pain threshold changes and one of the characteristic symptoms of autism.

    What should parents do?

    In 2010, it was believed that detecting autism at 2 years old was early. Doctors advised to wait until 3-4 years, this practice is observed in many cities now. Meanwhile, in many popular medical institutes and clinics, where doctors are interested in achieving success in the correction of autism, advocate for the earliest possible detection of the disease.

    Up to 3 years, they are not officially diagnosed, but it is possible to put the child in a risk group indicating the detected violations and developmental delays, receive recommendations and begin correction, raising the child taking into account his alleged characteristics. If the child is only 1 year old, and the pediatric neurologist or psychologist whom you turned to, refuses to observe him or simply "does not see" the diagnosis, do not waste time. Continue to search for a doctor (it’s better to sign up for a correctional clinic) or contact the center for correctional care in your city (for free).

    Autism is a disease in which a disability group is given. All major cities have foundations and organizations for parents of children with disabilities, where you can also apply. Somewhere you will be offered legal assistance, somewhere other parents will help with advice, and perhaps you will be lucky to become a member of the free treatment program.

    The main thing for an autistic child is not a diagnosis, but professional help. In the event of health problems, contact specialized specialists.

    List of all doctors

    The early intervention is organized by the efforts of several specialists and includes the formation of socialization skills from the first months of life, the development of speech, labor and physiotherapy, and most importantly, counseling parents on how to behave with the child in order to reduce the severity of deviations from the norm to a minimum.

    List of specialists:

    • pediatric neurologist / psychologist / psychiatrist,
    • neurologist (if you notice a cramp)
    • Speech therapist,
    • physiotherapist,
    • occupational therapist
    • audiologist (for hearing impairment),
    • gastroenterologist (with problems with the gastrointestinal tract),
    • psychological support group or psychologist for parents.

    The rehabilitation strategy for children with signs of autism helps to teach the baby to notice and properly respond to what is happening, to imitate and learn independently, to communicate, to understand what behavior is appropriate and what impulses need to be controlled.

    Symptoms of autism in children under 1 year old

    Autism symptoms in children under one year of age are among the criteria for early diagnosis. As a rule, the first to notice these signs is the mother. Parents react especially quickly if there is already one child in the family. Compared to a healthy older brother / sister, an autistic child looks “weird.”

    Symptoms of autism in children under one year of age are (incidence):

    • violation or complete absence of eye contact - 80 percent,
    • the phenomenon of identity - 79 percent,
    • violation of the recovery complex - 50 percent,
    • pathological attitude to close relatives - 41 percent,
    • pathological reaction to a new person - 21 percent,
    • pathological attitude to verbal treatment - 21 percent,
    • pathological attitude to physical contact - 19 percent.
    Disruption or complete lack of eye contact
    This symptom is manifested in the absence of fixation of the gaze in the child or in its active avoidance. Parents notice that when trying to attract a child and establish eye contact with him, the baby actively resists this. Sometimes it is still possible to establish eye contact, but at the same time the child seems to be looking past (“look through”). The gaze can also be fixed or frozen.

    The phenomenon of identity
    This symptom appears when parents begin to introduce complementary foods in the diet of the child, that is, after 6 months. It manifests itself in the difficulties of introducing complementary foods - in response to new food, the child shows aggression. Difficulties appear not only in nutrition, but also in a change in the situation of the place. The kid reacts violently to the new arrangement of furniture and his toys, resists new clothes. At the same time, a certain ritual appears - he eats food in a certain order, his toys laid out in a certain pattern. Autistic children react negatively to new facilities - a hospital, nursery, kindergarten.

    Violation of the revitalization complex
    A violation of the revitalization complex occurs in every second autistic child at the age of one. The symptom is manifested in a weak reaction (and in a severe case, in its complete absence) to external stimuli - light, rattle sound, surrounding voices. The child reacts weakly to the mother’s voice, does not respond when she calls her. He also reacts sluggishly to a smile, does not become infected in response to an adult's smile (usually children smile in response to a smile). In children with autism, the motor component is also poorly developed - it does not begin to jump actively like other children, does not go towards the mother.

    Pathological attitude to close relatives
    This symptom is also most noticeable in children under one year old. It is expressed in a delay or in the absence of recognition of the mother - the child does not go towards her, does not reach for her, does not go into the arms. Also, the baby reacts weakly to mother's caresses, does not show a need for care. Sometimes this attitude can be manifested in relation to other family members, while the child has a strong attachment to the mother. In general, ambivalence (duality) is observed in relations between a child and adults. Strong attachment can be replaced by coldness and hostility.

    Pathological reaction to a new person
    Every fifth autistic child shows a pathological reaction to a new person. This reaction is expressed in anxiety, fear, agitation in response to the emergence of a new person. Sometimes it can be replaced by super-sociability, in which the child shows increased interest in a new person.

    Pathological attitude to verbal treatment
    The symptom is manifested in the absence of a reaction to verbal treatment and often mimics deafness in a child. That is why often parents first of all turn to the ENT specialist. Also, autistic children do not use gestures of confirmation or denial - they do not nod their heads, do not use gestures of greeting or goodbye.

    Pathological attitude to physical contact
    This symptom is expressed in hostility to physical contact - caresses, “hugs”. When trying to stroke a child or hug, he dodges. Autistic children tolerate only small doses of physical contact and are quite selective for those who exhibit them. Some children may prefer tossing or spinning.

    Symptoms of autism in children under 3 years old
    As the child grows and develops, the attention of parents is attracted by his speech, manner of play, type of communication with other children.

    Symptoms of autism in children under 3 years of age are (incidence):

    • violation of communication with children - 70 percent,
    • attachment to inanimate objects - 21 percent,
    • fears - 80 percent,
    • violation of the sense of self-preservation - 21 percent,
    • speech pathology - 69 percent,
    • stereotypes - 69 percent,
    • intelligence features - 72 percent,
    • game features - 30 percent.
    Disruption in communication with children
    Very often, autistic children shun their peers. Ignoring communication can be either passive - the child is simply isolated from the rest of the children, and active - there appears aggressive, impulsive behavior. Sometimes the circle of friends can be limited to one friend who is a couple of years older, or a relative (brother or sister). In the general team - in a manger, on the street, at a birthday, the autist is not long, since he often prefers solitude to companies.

    Attachment to inanimate objects
    Another feature of behavior is attachment to inanimate objects. The attention of autistic children is most often attracted by the ornament of the carpet, some specific piece of clothing, a pattern on the wallpaper.

    Autistic children also have quite unusual fears. As a rule, they are not afraid of heights or darkness, but of household noises, bright light, a certain shape of the subject. Fears are explained by increased sensitivity (hyperesthesia) of autistic children.

    Fears of autistic children are:

    • noise - the noise of an electric shaver, vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, water pressure, sound of an elevator,
    • bright, sharp, or shiny colors in clothes,
    • precipitation - water drops, snowflakes.
    In the aggressive course of the disease, fixation of fears with the formation of delusional ideas is observed. This may be the fear of everything round - while the child will avoid all objects of a rounded shape. It can also be an inexplicable fear of the mother, the fear of his shadow, the fear of hatches and so on.

    Violation of the sense of self-preservation
    One in five autistic children shows a lack of fear. This symptom can occur since childhood, when a child hangs dangerously overboard a stroller or playpen. Older children can run out onto the carriageway, jump from a great height. Characteristic is the lack of fixing the negative experience of cuts, bruises, burns. So, an ordinary child, accidentally getting burned, avoids this item in the future. However, autistic children can “step on the same rake” many times.

    Speech pathology
    Features of speech development are observed in 7 out of 10 children with autism spectrum disorder. Even in the early childhood, this is manifested in the absence of a reaction to speech - the child reacts poorly to treatment. Further, parents can note that their child prefers quiet and whispering speech. There is a lag in speech development - the first words appear later, the child does not walk, does not burst.
    A child’s speech is characterized by the phenomenon of echolalia, which is expressed in the repetition of words. A child may repeat it several times to a question addressed to him. For example, to the question “how old are you?” The child answers “years, years, years.” There is also a tendency to declaration, to monologues, to very expressive speech. Attention of parents is attracted by the fact that the child begins to talk about himself in the third person (the pronoun “I” is not typical).

    Most cases of autism are characterized by an initial development of speech followed by regression. So, parents say that the child who was originally talking suddenly falls silent. The vocabulary, previously consisting of a dozen words, is now limited to two or three words. Speech regression can occur at any stage. More often it is noted at the age of one and a half years, but can also be detected later at the level of phrasal speech.

    Stereotypies are persistent repetitions of movements, phrases. With an autism spectrum disorder, stereotyped behavior is considered a type of self-stimulating behavior. It should be noted that healthy people also sometimes display stereotypes. For example, this is expressed in winding hair on a finger, in tapping with a pencil on a table, in passing sand through fingers. “Healthy stereotypes” differ from the pathological degree of intensity. With autism, stereotyping is observed in movement, speech, and game.

    Stereotypes in autism are:

    • stereotypical movements - rhythmic swaying or rocking of the body, bending the fingers, jumping, turning the head,
    • stereotyped visual perceptions - pouring mosaic, turning on and off the light,
    • stereotypical sound perceptions - rustling in packages, creasing and tearing paper, swinging door or window sashes,
    • tactile stereotypes - pouring cereals, peas and other bulk products, transfusion of water,
    • olfactory stereotypes - constant sniffing of the same objects.
    Intelligence features
    Lag in intellectual development is observed in every third child with autism. Intellectual passivity, lack of focus and productive activity, inability to fix attention on something are noted.

    At the same time, acceleration of intellectual development is observed in 30 percent of cases. It is expressed in the rapid development of speech, fantasies, associations, as well as in the accumulation of knowledge in some abstract areas. Autistic children are very selective in their choice of sciences - there is an increased interest in numbers, countries, and designs. Auditory memory is very developed. The breakdown of intelligent functions is observed in 10 percent of cases. It is expressed in the decay of skills in behavior, cognitive activity and previously formed speech.

    Game features
    This symptom is manifested either in the complete absence of the game, or in the predominance of the game alone. In the first case, the child ignores the toys - does not look at them or inspects them without interest. Often the game is limited to elementary manipulations - rolling a bead or pea, spinning a button on a thread. The game prevails alone, usually in a certain place that does not change. The child stacks his toys according to a certain principle, usually by color or shape (but not by functionality). Very often a child uses completely non-game items in his game.

    Diagnosis of Autism

    Diagnosis of autism includes parent complaints, medical history, and examination of the child. At an appointment with a child psychiatrist, parents first explain the reason for their visit. This may be the lack of speech in the child or her regression, aggressive behavior, fears, stereotypes. Most often, parents complain that the child does not speak or use communication as a means of communication.

    Frequent complaints from parents are:

    • the baby does not respond to treatment, creates the impression of a deaf child,
    • the child does not look in the eyes
    • missing first words, phrases, speech addressed,
    • regression of speech development (when the baby already spoke, but suddenly became silent),
    • slapping his cheeks, biting himself
    • repeats the same words, movements,
    • avoids other children, does not play with them,
    • prefers privacy
    • He does not like changes and reacts aggressively to them.
    Next, the doctor asks questions regarding the development of the child. How he was born, whether there were birth injuries, how he grew and developed. Psychiatric inheritance is of great diagnostic value. Differential diagnosis is carried out with a delay in psycho-speech development (ZPR), mental retardation and childhood schizophrenia.

    Examination of a child with suspected autism consists of talking with him and observing. Autistic children entering the doctor’s office often rush to the window first. Young children can hide behind a chair, a table and other furniture. Almost always, any visit to the doctor is accompanied by negative behavior, crying, tantrums. Such a child rarely enters into dialogue, often repeats the question asked by the doctor. The baby does not respond to the appeal to him, does not turn his head. Children do not show interest in toys and an offer to play, they are passive. Sometimes they may be interested in a puzzle or constructor.

    Autism tests

    Tests for identifying autistic inclinations are based on observing the child’s behavior in everyday life, his interaction with peers and parents, his attitude to toys. There are a large number of programs for self-determination of autism, but none of them give accurate results. The results of any test are only an assumption, which only a doctor can confirm or deny.

    Simple test
    This test is the simplest among all, but its results are quite vague. Experts recommend conducting this type of verification in conjunction with other testing methods.
    The test consists of two parts, the first of which involves observing the child, the second - the joint implementation of certain actions.

    The questions of the first part of the test are:

    • Does the kid like to sit on the lap of adults
    • Does the child like parental hugs
    • is he keen on children’s games,
    • whether the child is in contact with his peers,
    • Does it imitate certain actions or sounds when playing,
    • Does the index finger use as a pointer in order to draw the attention of others to any object,
    • Does the baby bring toys or other items to pay parental attention to them.
    The next part of this program requires parental involvement.

    The tasks of the second part of the test are:

    • Point your child at the subject, while carefully observing his reaction. Children's eyes should be directed to the indicated object, and not stop on the parent finger.
    • Пронаблюдайте при совместной игре, насколько часто малыш смотрит вам в глаза.
    • Предложите ребенку приготовить чай или другое блюдо в игрушечной посуде. Вызовет ли данное предложение у него заинтересованность.
    • Дайте малышу кубики и попросите соорудить башню. Откликнется ли он на это предложение.
    The tendency to autism is considered quite high if, during this test, most of the answers were negative.

    CARS (Early Childhood Autism Rating Scale)
    This type of testing is the main tool for testing children whose behavior is suggestive of autism.
    CARS includes 15 blocks, each of which affects a separate part of children's behavior in certain situations. For each item, 4 basic answers are offered - normal - 1 point, slightly abnormal - 2 points, moderately abnormal - 3 points, significantly abnormal - 4 points. There are also three intermediate options between each of the main answers, the value of which is estimated at 1.5 points, 2.5 points and 3.5 points, respectively. Intermediate options are necessary for cases where the parent cannot determine for example, for example, the reaction or behavior of the baby in the situation indicated in the test is slightly abnormal or moderately abnormal.

    CARS Test Parameters

    Interaction with society

    Reaction to change

    Feeling of fear, nervousness

    • Fine. The absence of obvious difficulties or deviations from the norm in communication with peers and adults. Mild shyness or anxiety may be noted.
    • A bit abnormal. There may be reluctance to contact with the gaze, nervousness when trying to attract children's attention, excessive shyness. The child avoids adult society or does not respond when he is addressed.
    • Moderately abnormal. At times, the child is indifferent to the environment, thus creating the impression that he does not notice adults. To attract children's attention, in most cases, coercive measures are needed. On an independent initiative, the baby makes contact in exceptional cases.
    • Significantly abnormal. To attract the attention of a child, numerous and persistent attempts are needed. Of his own free will, he never initiates contact and does not respond to attempts to speak with him.
    • Fine. Imitation of sounds, words and actions is age appropriate.
    • A bit abnormal. In some cases, imitation is delayed. It may be difficult to repeat more complex words or movements.
    • Moderately abnormal. In most cases, imitation is carried out with a delay and only with the submission of adults.
    • Significantly abnormal. Even after prompting by the parents, the child does not imitate movement or speech skills.
    • Fine. Facial expression and other manifestations of emotions correspond to the situation and age.
    • A bit abnormal. Sometimes the reaction may not be appropriate.
    • Moderately abnormal. Feelings may occur with a delay or not respond to the situation (the child laughs, grimaces, or cries for no apparent reason).
    • Significantly abnormal. Children's emotions rarely correspond to reality. The kid can be in a certain mood for a long time, which is difficult to change. Also, a child may suddenly attend different feelings for no objective reason.
    • Fine. The movements are carried out without difficulty, coordination corresponds to age.
    • A bit abnormal. Slowness can be observed, in some cases - strange movements.
    • Moderately abnormal. Parents can observe unusual finger movements, body swaying, causeless tiptoeing. Sometimes a child may show unmotivated aggression towards himself.
    • Significantly abnormal. Regardless of comments from adults, the child constantly carries out unusual movements for children.
    • Fine. The child shows interest in toys and uses them for their intended purpose.
    • A bit abnormal. Non-standard use of toys may be present in the behavior.
    • Moderately abnormal. Weak interest in toys, difficulty in understanding how to use them.
    • Significantly abnormal. Severe difficulties in the use of toys or a complete lack of interest in them.
    • Fine. The child easily experiences changes, notes and comments on them.
    • A bit abnormal. When parents try to distract the child from certain activities, he may continue to engage in them.
    • Moderately abnormal. Active resistance to any changes. When parents try to stop the children's game or other action, the child begins to get angry.
    • Significantly abnormal. Adaptation to change is manifested by aggression.
    • Fine. Together with other senses, vision is used to explore the world and new objects.
    • A bit abnormal. Sometimes a child can gaze into space for no reason, avoid eye contact.
    • Moderately abnormal. The child rarely controls his eyes with his actions. He can also view objects or people from an unusual angle of view.
    • Significantly abnormal. Does not look at objects and people around him or does it with pronounced oddities.
    • Fine. In accordance with age, it responds to sounds and uses hearing.
    • A bit abnormal. Sometimes there may be an increased sensitivity to certain sounds, and the auditory reaction is delayed.
    • Moderately abnormal. Some sounds are ignored, while others receive an unusual reaction - crying, fear, closing ears.
    • Significantly abnormal. Hypersensitivity or its complete absence to certain types of sounds.
    • Fine. Smell, touch and taste are equally involved in the study of the world. When experiencing pain, the baby reacts accordingly.
    • A bit abnormal. An inappropriate reaction to discomfort may be detected - too strong or weak. Some senses are not used for their intended purpose.
    • Moderately abnormal. The child sometimes touches, sniffs or tastes strangers or other objects. It reacts weakly or too strongly to pain.
    • Significantly abnormal. The child experiences pronounced difficulties with the correct use of the sense of taste, smell and touch. She responds to minor pain sensations too sharply or completely ignores the pain.
    • Fine. The behavioral model is appropriate for age and circumstances.
    • A bit abnormal. Compared with other children, in some situations, fear or nervousness may be exaggerated or, conversely, poorly expressed.
    • Moderately abnormal. Periodically, the child's reaction to traumatic circumstances is not true.
    • Significantly abnormal. The child does not attach importance to the danger or overreacts to it, even after it has been proved the opposite.
    • Fine. The level of development of verbal skills is age-appropriate.
    • A bit abnormal. The formation of speech occurs with a delay, some parts of speech can be used for other purposes.
    • Moderately abnormal. Meaningful speech is manifested by excessive enthusiasm for a specific topic, numerous issues not on the situation. Strange sounds, incorrect words are also used, or there may be a complete lack of speech.
    • Significantly abnormal. Verbal skills are manifested by animal sounds, imitation of natural sounds, complex noises. Correct words or phrases may be present that are used for other purposes.
    • Fine. Gestures are used as appropriate.
    • A bit abnormal. In some cases, difficulties arise with proper gestures.
    • Moderately abnormal. The child cannot explain his needs with gestures and also has difficulty understanding other people's movements.
    • Significantly abnormal. Gestures or movements used do not make sense. The facial expressions of other people and other signs of non-verbal communication are not perceived.
    • Fine. The behavior of the child is appropriate for age and circumstances.
    • A bit abnormal. Sometimes the baby may be overly active or slow.
    • Moderately abnormal. The child is difficult to control, in the evenings it is difficult for him to fall asleep. Sometimes, on the contrary, parental involvement is required to make him move.
    • Significantly abnormal. It is manifested by extreme states of active or passive behavior, which can sometimes replace each other without obvious reasons.
    • Fine. The intellectual level is no different from peers.
    • A bit abnormal. Some skills may not be so pronounced.
    • Moderately abnormal. The child lags behind children of his age in development. However, significant success can be observed in one or more specific areas.
    • Significantly abnormal. A marked lag is observed, but in some areas the child shows himself much better than peers.
    • Fine. There are no oddities in children's behavior.
    • A bit abnormal. In some situations, atypical age of the child and situations of traits or inclinations may occur.
    • Moderately abnormal. The expressed demonstration of non-standard behavior.
    • Significantly abnormal. A child shows many symptoms of autism.

    If the total score for this test is in the range of 15 to 30, the child is normal. With a score of 30 to 37, there is a chance of a mild or moderate degree of autism. If 37 to 60 points were scored, there is suspicion of a severe form of autism.

    ICD-10 Autism Classification

    There are several options for classifications of autism, which take into account the onset, manifestations and course of the disease. According to the international classification of diseases (ICD), 6 variants of autism are distinguished.

    ICD classification of autism

    It is manifested by developmental anomalies in children under 3 years old, deviations in the following areas - social interaction, communication and behavior. The child’s behavior is stereotyped, limited and monotonous. The clinical picture is supplemented by sleep disorders, eating, aggression, multiple fears.

    The clinical picture of atypical autism is characterized by the absence of one of the criteria from the classical autism triad (violation of social interaction, communication and behavior) As a rule, it is accompanied by a deep delay in mental development.

    This type of autism is found only in girls. Psychomotor development is characterized by partial or complete loss of speech, skills in using hands, and growth retardation. All these disorders are detected at the age of 7 to 24 months. Despite the fact that social development has been suspended, interest in communication remains. Also, this syndrome is accompanied by severe mental retardation.

    Other childhood disintegrative disorder

    Until the first signs of the disorder appear, psychomotor development is normal. However, shortly after the onset of the disease, there is a loss of all acquired skills. At the same time, interest in the outside world is lost, behavior becomes stereotyped and monotonous. Disorders are noted in the field of social interaction, communication, intellectual development.

    Hyperactive disorder with mental retardation and stereotypic movements.

    It occurs in children whose intelligence is below 50 IQ. They exhibit hyperactive and stereotyped behavior, a decrease in understanding of speech addressed to them. Children with hyperactive disorder and stereotypic movements respond poorly to drug therapy.

    As with the previous disorder, the causes of Asperger Syndrome are unknown. The syndrome is not characterized by a stop in psycho-speech development (what is observed with childhood autism) Pathology is characterized by clumsiness, stereotypical activity, interests. At an early age, there may be psychotic episodes.

    In addition to the generally accepted classification, there is a classification proposed by the psychologist Nikolskaya in 1985. This classification takes into account the main characteristics of autism and divides it into four groups.

    Classification of Autism by Nikolskaya

    (8 percent) with a predominance of detachment from the outside world.

    Already in the first year of life, children are sensitive to a change in the situation of the place, to new people. They are often in the passive contemplation of some objects. In the second year of life, there is a loss of all the skills acquired in the first year - speech, reaction to circulation, visual contact.

    (62 percent) with a predominance of rejection of the environment.

    Multiple motor, speech, tactile stereotypes are observed. The sense of self-preservation has been violated, multiple fears and a pronounced "identity phenomenon" are noted.

    This type of autism is often combined with schizophrenia, epilepsy and other pathologies of the central nervous system.

    (10 percent) with a predominance of overvalued interests and fantasies.

    The interests and activities of the child are extremely abstract in nature, there are also overvalued addictions. Relation to relatives and friends with elements of aggression, fears are delusional.

    (21 percent) with extreme vulnerability and timidity.

    Children from early childhood are very vulnerable, shy, they have a lowered mood background. With the slightest change in the environment, fear increases. Children are often severely inhibited, unsure of themselves, and therefore are distinguished by increased attachment to their mother.

    Autism therapy

    Today, there are no specific therapeutic methods to permanently get rid of autism. At the same time, according to medical statistics, it was established that timely studies with specialists, which are supported by a special diet and pharmacotherapy, significantly increase the level of development of autism. There are many areas of therapy that are used individually or in combination with autism. Depending on the goals and methods used, all types of therapy are divided into several groups.

    The groups into which autism correction methods are divided are:

    • behavioral therapy
    • biomedicine
    • pharmacological therapy
    • controversial techniques.

    Behavioral Therapy for Autism

    This group includes programs whose goal is to correct defects of the autistic behavioral model that prevent him from adapting to life.

    Methods of behavior correction are:

    • speech therapy
    • occupational therapy,
    • social skills therapy
    • developmental therapy
    • alternative communication.
    Speech therapy
    Many autistic children do not partially or fully use speech. Often the problems are connected not with the fact that the child does not know how to pronounce words, but with the inability to use verbal skills to meet people. Communication training is carried out according to an individual program that takes into account the level of speech skills and the individual characteristics of the autist.

    Occupational therapy
    This autism correction method is aimed at developing the child’s skills that will help him in everyday life. Since such patients experience significant difficulties with self-care, occupational therapy for this disease plays a large role. During the classes, the autist acquires basic self-care skills - brushing, dressing, combing. Physical exercises performed

    At what age can autism manifest itself?

    Children's autism today occurs in 2 to 4 cases per 100,000 children. In combination with mental retardation (atypical autism) the figure increases to 20 cases per 100,000. The ratio of boys and girls with this pathology is 4 to 1.

    Autism can occur at any age. Depending on age, the clinical picture of the disease also changes. Conventionally, early childhood autism is distinguished (up to 3 years), childhood autism (from 3 years to 10 - 11 years) and teenage autism (in children over 11 years old).

    Regarding the standard classifications of autism, controversy has not subsided so far. According to the international statistical classification of diseases, including mental, children's autism, atypical autism, Rett syndrome and Asperger syndrome are distinguished. According to the latest version of the American classification of mental illness, only autism spectrum disorders are distinguished. These disorders include both early childhood autism and atypical.

    Typically, childhood autism is diagnosed at the age of 2.5 to 3 years. It was during this period that speech disturbances, limited social communication, and isolation were most pronounced. However, the first signs of autistic behavior appear in the first year of life. If the child is the first in the family, then parents, as a rule, later notice his “dissimilarity” to peers. Most often, this becomes apparent when the child goes to kindergarten, that is, when trying to integrate into society. However, if the family already has a child, then, as a rule, the mother sees the first symptoms of an autistic baby in the first months of life. Compared with an older brother or sister, the child behaves differently, which immediately catches the eye of his parents.

    Autism may occur later. Autism debut can occur after 5 years. The intelligence coefficient in this case is higher than in children in whom the autism debut occurred at the age of 3 years. In these cases, elementary communication skills are maintained, but isolation from the world still dominates. These children have cognitive impairment (impaired memory, mental activity, and so on) are not so pronounced. Very often they have a high intelligence coefficient.

    Элементы аутизма могут быть в кадре синдрома Ретта. Он диагностируется в возрасте от года до двух. Аутизм с сохранением когнитивных функций, который называется синдромом Аспергера (или же мягким аутизмом), occurs between 4 and 11 years.

    It is worth noting that there is a certain period between the first manifestations of autism and the moment of diagnosis. Certain characteristic features of the child are observed, to which parents do not attach importance. However, if you focus your mother on this, then she really recognizes "something like that" with her child.

    So, the parents of a child who was always obedient and did not create problems recall that in childhood the child practically did not cry, could spend hours looking at a spot on the wall and so on. That is, certain character traits in a child exist initially. This is not to say that the disease appears as "a bolt from the blue." However, with age, when the need for socialization increases (kindergarten, school) others join these symptoms. Here in this period, for the first time, parents turn to a specialist for advice.

    What is special about the behavior of a child with autism?

    Despite the fact that the symptoms of this disease are very diverse and depend on age, nevertheless, there are certain behavioral traits that are common to all autistic children.

    Behavioral characteristics of a child with autism are:

    • disruption of social contacts and interactions,
    • limited interests and features of the game,
    • tendency to repeat actions (stereotypes),
    • disturbances in verbal communication,
    • intellectual disorders
    • impaired sense of self-preservation,
    • features of gait and movements.

    Disruption of social contacts and interactions

    It is the main characteristic of the behavior of children with autism and is found in 100 percent. Autistic children live in their own world, and the predominance of this inner life is accompanied by a departure from the outside world. They are uncommunicative, actively avoiding their peers.

    The first thing that may seem strange to mom is that the child practically does not ask for his hands. Infants (children up to a year) are characterized by inertia, inactive. They are not as lively as other children, react to a new toy. They have a weak reaction to light, sound, they can also rarely smile. The revitalization complex inherent in all young children is absent or poorly developed in autists. Kids do not respond to their name, do not respond to sounds and other stimuli, which often mimics deafness. As a rule, at this age, parents first turn to an audiologist (hearing specialist).

    A child reacts differently to an attempt to make contact. Attacks of aggression may arise, fears form. One of the most prominent symptoms of autism is the lack of eye contact. However, it does not manifest itself in all children, but occurs in more severe forms, so the child ignores this aspect of social life. Sometimes a child can look as though through a person.
    It is generally accepted that all autistic children are not able to show emotions. However, it is not. Indeed, for many of them, the emotional sphere is very poor - they rarely smile, and their facial expressions are the same. But there are also children with very rich, diverse, and sometimes not quite adequate facial expressions.

    As he grows up, the child can go deeper into his world. The first thing that attracts attention is the inability to contact family members. The child rarely seeks help, early begins to self-service himself. An autistic child practically does not use the words “give”, “take”. He does not physically contact - at the request of giving this or that object, he does not give it into his hands, but throws it away. Thus, he limits his interaction with other people. Most children also cannot stand hugs and other physical contacts.

    Most clearly, problems are felt when a child is taken to kindergarten. Then, when trying to introduce the baby to other children (for example, put them at the same common table or engage in one game) he can give various affective reactions. Ignoring the environment can be passive or active. In the first case, the children simply do not show interest in the surrounding children, games. In the second case, they run away, hide or act aggressively against other children.

    Verbal Communication Disorders

    Speech disturbance, to one degree or another, occurs in all forms of autism. Speech may develop with a delay or may not develop at all.

    Speech disorders are most pronounced in early childhood autism. In this case, even the phenomenon of mutism (complete lack of speech) Many parents note that after the child begins to speak normally, he becomes silent for a certain time (year and more) Sometimes, even at the initial stages, the child in his speech development is ahead of his peers. Then from 15 to 18 months there is a regression - the child ceases to speak with others, but at the same time fully speaks to himself or in a dream. With Asperger Syndrome, speech and cognitive functions are partially preserved.

    In early childhood, there may be no walk, babbling, which, of course, will immediately alert the mother. Rare use of gestures in babies is also noted. As the child develops, disorders of expressive speech are often noted. Children misuse pronouns, appeals. Most often they call themselves in the second or third person. For example, instead of “I want to eat,” the child says “he wants to eat” or “you want to eat.” He also turns to himself in the third person, for example, "Anton needs a pen." Often children can use excerpts from conversations heard in adults or on television. In society, a child may not use speech at all, not answer questions. However, alone with himself, he can comment on his actions, declare poetry.

    Sometimes a child’s speech becomes pretentious. She is replete with quotes, neologisms, unusual words, commands. Auto-dialogue and a tendency to rhyme prevail in their speech. Their speech is often monotonous, without intonation, commenting phrases prevail in it.

    Also, autistic speech is often characterized by a peculiar intonation with a predominance of high tones at the end of the sentence. Often there are vocal tics, phonetic disorders.

    The delay in speech development is often the cause of the appeal of the child's parents to speech therapists and defectologists. In order to understand the cause of speech disorders, it is necessary to identify whether speech is used in this case for communication. The cause of speech disorders in autism is a reluctance to interact with the outside world, including through conversation. Anomalies of speech development in this case reflect a violation of the social contact of children.

    Intellectual Disorders

    In 75 percent of cases, various intellectual disorders are observed. This may be mental retardation or uneven mental development. Most often, these are various degrees of lag in intellectual development. An autistic child has difficulty concentrating and focusing. He also has a rapid loss of interest, attention disorder. Conventional associations and generalizations are rarely available. An autistic child usually performs tests of manipulation and visual skills well. However, tests that require symbolic and abstract thinking, as well as the inclusion of logic, perform poorly.

    Sometimes children have an interest in certain disciplines and the formation of certain aspects of the intellect. For example, they have unique spatial memory, hearing, or perception. In 10 percent of cases, initially accelerated intellectual development is complicated by the breakdown of intelligence. With Asperger Syndrome, intelligence is maintained within the age norm or even higher.

    According to various sources, a decrease in intelligence within mild and moderate mental retardation is observed in more than half of children. So, half of them have an IQ below 50. One third of children have intelligence at the border level (IQ 70) However, a decrease in intelligence is not of a total nature and very rarely reaches a degree of deep mental retardation. The lower the intelligence coefficient of a child, the more difficult its social adaptation. Other children with a high coefficient of intelligence have non-standard thinking, which also very often limits their social behavior.

    Despite the decline in intellectual functions, many children themselves learn elementary school skills. Some of them are independently trained in reading and acquire mathematical skills. Many may retain musical, mechanical, and mathematical abilities for a long time.

    Disorders of the intellectual sphere are characterized by irregularity, namely, periodic improvements and deteriorations. So against the background of situational stress, illness, episodes of regression may occur.

    Impaired sense of self-preservation

    A violation of the sense of self-preservation, which is manifested by auto-aggression, occurs in one third of autistic children. Aggression - is one of the forms of response to various not very favorable life relationships. But since autism lacks social contact, negative energy is projected onto itself. Autistic children are characterized by attacks on themselves, bites of themselves. Very often they lack a “sense of edge”. This is observed in early childhood, when the baby hangs over the side of the stroller, climbs over the arena. Older children can jump out onto the carriageway or jump from a height. Many of them lack the consolidation of negative experience after falls, burns, cuts. So, an ordinary child, falling or cutting once, will avoid this in the future. An autistic kid can do the same thing dozens of times, while injuring himself, but not stopping.

    The nature of this behavior has been little studied. Many experts suggest that this behavior is due to a decrease in the threshold of pain sensitivity. This is confirmed by the absence of crying during bumps and falls of the baby.

    In addition to auto-aggression, aggressive behavior directed at someone can be observed. The cause of this behavior may be a defensive reaction. Very often, it is observed if an adult tries to disrupt the usual way of life of a child. However, an attempt to resist change can also be manifested in auto-aggression. A child, especially if he suffers from severe autism, can bite himself, beat, deliberately bump. These actions cease as soon as interference in his world ceases. Thus, in this case, such behavior is a form of communication with the outside world.

    Features of gait and movements

    Autistic children often have a specific gait. Most often, they imitate a butterfly, walking on tiptoe and balancing with their hands. Some are skipping around. A feature of the movements of an autistic child is a certain awkwardness, angularity. The run of such children may seem ridiculous, because during it they wave their arms, legs spread wide.

    Also, children with autism can walk with added steps, sway while walking, or walk a strictly defined special route.

    Children up to a year

    The appearance of the baby differs in the absence of a smile, facial expressions and other bright emotions.
    Compared to other children, he is not so active and does not attract attention. His gaze is often fixed on some (constantly the same) subject.

    The kid does not reach for his hands, he does not have a revitalization complex. He does not copy emotions - if he smiles, he does not answer with a smile, which is completely uncharacteristic for young children. He does not gesticulate, does not indicate objects that he needs. The kid does not babble, like other one-year-old children, does not walk, does not respond to his name. An autistic baby is not a problem and gives the impression of a "very calm baby." For many hours he plays by himself without crying, not showing interest in others.

    It is extremely rare in children that there is a lag in growth and development. At the same time, with atypical autism (autism with mental retardation) concomitant diseases are very often noted. Most often, it is a convulsive syndrome or even epilepsy. At the same time, a delay in neuropsychic development is noted - the child begins to sit late, takes the first steps late, lags behind in mass and growth.

    Children over 6 years old

    Autistic students can attend both specialized educational institutions and general schools. If the child does not have intellectual disorders and copes with learning, then the selectivity of his favorite subjects is observed. As a rule, this is a hobby for drawing, music, mathematics. However, even with borderline or medium intelligence, children have a lack of attention. They hardly concentrate on tasks, but at the same time are most focused on their classes. More often than others, autistic people have difficulty reading (dyslexia).

    At the same time, in one tenth of cases, children with autism exhibit unusual intellectual abilities. It can be talents in music, art or a unique memory. In one percent of cases, autists have savant syndrome, in which outstanding abilities in several areas of knowledge are noted.

    Children who have a decrease in intelligence or significant self-reliance are engaged in specialized programs. In the first place at this age, speech disorders and social maladaptation are noted. A child can resort to speech only in case of urgent need in order to communicate their needs. However, he also tries to avoid this by starting to serve himself very early. The worse the language of communication in children is developed, the more often they show aggression.

    Deviations in eating behavior can take the form of serious violations up to refusal to eat. In mild cases, the meal is accompanied by rituals - eating food in a certain order, at certain hours. The selectivity of individual dishes is carried out not by taste, but by color or shape of the dish. For autistic children, what the food looks like is of great importance.

    If the diagnosis was made at an early stage and treatment measures were taken, then many children can adapt well. Some of them graduate from general educational institutions, master professions. Children with minimal speech and intellectual disabilities are best adapted.

    What tests will help identify a child’s autism at home?

    The purpose of using the tests is to identify the risk of autism in the child. The test results are not grounds for making a diagnosis, but represent an occasion for contacting specialists. Assessing the features of children's development, one should take into account the age of the child and use tests recommended for his age.

    Tests for diagnosing autism in children are:

    • assessment of child behavior by general indicators of development - from birth to 16 months,
    • M-CHAT test (modified autism screening test) - recommended for children from 16 to 30 months,
    • autism scale CARS (autism rating scale in children) - from 2 to 4 years,
    • ASSQ screening test - designed for children from 6 to 16 years old.

    Testing a child for a tendency to autism from birth

    Children's health institutes advise parents to observe the behavior of the baby from the moment of his birth and, if inconsistencies are identified, contact children's specialists.

    Deviations in childhood development from birth to a year and a half age are the absence of the following behavioral factors:

    • smiles or attempts to express joyful emotions,
    • response to a smile, facial expressions, sounds of adults,
    • attempts to establish eye contact with the mother while breastfeeding, or people around the baby,
    • reaction to your own name or to a familiar voice,
    • gestures, waving,
    • use of fingers to indicate objects of interest to the child,
    • attempts to start talking (to coo),
    • please take him in your arms
    • the joy of being on hand.

    If even one of the above deviations is found, parents should consult a doctor. One of the signs of this disease is an extremely strong attachment to one of the family members, most often the mother. Outwardly, the child does not demonstrate his adoration. But when there is a threat of interruption in communication, children may refuse to eat, they vomit or the temperature rises.

    M-CHAT test for examination of children from 16 to 30 months

    The results of this test, as well as other tools for children's screening (surveys), do not have absolute certainty, but are the basis for a diagnostic examination by specialists. Answer the M-CHAT test points with “Yes” or “No”. If the phenomenon indicated in the question, when observing a child, appeared no more than two times, this fact is not taken into account.

    Questions for the M-CHAT test are:

    • №1 - Does the child enjoy being rocked (on hands, knees)?
    • №2 - Does the child have an interest in other children?
    • № 3 - Does the child like to use objects as steps and climb them up?
    • № 4 - Does the child enjoy a game like hide and seek?