Australia

How Early Can Autism Be Diagnosed Accurately

By on Apr 30, 2018 in Health | 0 comments

One of the most common asked questions in the autism sector is when autism can be detected in children.  This isn’t an easy question to answer because the symptoms, severity, and effect of autism on children can vary a lot for each and every child.  This wide-spectrum disorder is challenging to identify especially since autism can go hand in hand with other conditions such as ADHD and more. It is, however, important to diagnose autism early on.

Why autism should be diagnosed as early as possible

Autistic children can learn to overcome many challenges associated with this condition if they are treated from an early stage.  For example; children can be taught to understand facial expressions and body language better so they understand what others are trying to communicate more effectively.  They can be taught to understand what actions are socially acceptable and what actions are inappropriate and they can be taught to manage their own facial expressions in order to express themselves.  One of the biggest reasons to start treating autism early on is so families can learn to live with the condition and so an alternative education system can be established to overcome learning difficulties.

How early can autism be diagnosed?

It is important to take note that children with mild autism can go undetected for quite some time or can even live perfectly natural lives despite their mild condition.  Autism signs can be detected as early as 6 – 12 months but professionals won’t make a diagnosis until at least 18 months of age. This is because many autism symptoms such as speech delays, obsessive behaviors, repetitive behaviors and more are perfectly natural for small children up to the age of 24 months.  In some cases, children can reach milestones perfectly fine and can then start showing up at a later stage.

When most children are diagnosed with autism

Autism can be apparent in children from a very young age but most children in Australia are diagnosed with the condition between the ages of 5 and 14.  This is because differences between autistic children and their peers become very noticeable during this stage since children should have rather good social and interaction skills at this stage.

How to tell if your child has autism

There are many symptoms and characteristics that can tell you whether your child might have autism or not but it is important to get a medical diagnosis as soon as you become suspicious.  Some of the most common signs of autism include speech delays, repetitive behaviors, obsessions, lack of eye contact, inability to understand others, failing to display emotions correctly, failing to understand body language and facial expressions, sensitivities towards changes such as light and sound and much more.  Once your child has been professionally diagnosed you will be directed towards the correct treatments and you can start seeking out the right guidance to cope with and help ASD children on their journey.

Keep misdiagnosis in mind

Misdiagnosis is not uncommon in children, especially in young children.  Autism goes hand in hand with other problems such as ADHD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Learning Disorders and development problems such as restricted speech.  A child may be diagnosed with autism only to overcome social challenges and other issues at a later stage. It is important to keep an eye on the progress of a child and to continuously work with medical professionals that specialise in autism in order to get the best possible outcome for your child.

Early detection of autism in children can make a world of difference in the development of these children and especially in their quality of life when they learn to overcome social problems at an early age.  Early detection also makes it much easier for families to accept characteristics of their children and to find common ground with siblings.