Somewhere out there — right now — is a parent who just heard something she didn’t like. Someone who loves or works with her child suggested her precious, perfect baby may have a form of autism spectrum disorder.
There are signs. Her child is most likely developmentally delayed in significant ways. He may have walked late, often skipping crawling altogether. He may lack the fine motor skills other same-age peers have already mastered. Physically, he may lack the strength, balance, and coordination to do the typical things young children do, such as ride a tricycle, jump, run, or hold on tight when taken for a ride on daddy’s back. Perhaps most significant is a delay in speech. He may have developed a few words and lost them, or he may have never made any kind of vocalizations. In addition to not speaking, he may not understand the speech of others. And, if his name is called, he may not consistently respond — if he responds at all.
In addition to developmental delays, he probably has exhibited some quirky behaviors. He may not play with toys appropriately, preferring spinning, lining up items, or flicking strings or non-toy objects. He may not be able to tolerate certain textures, touches, sounds, or lighting. He may throw sudden tantrums that go far beyond any prior conceptions of the word. He may appear to be present physically — but live in a world of his own. Or he may not have many developmental needs at all, yet be unable to connect to others, read social situations, or tolerate change of any kind.
And though his mother probably already noticed these delays and odd behaviors, she is angered when the subject of autism inevitably comes up. She thinks she has good reason. Continued on HuffPost Parents…