Autism is an umbrella term used for a range of closely related disorders, varying in the range of symptoms and their intensity. These symptoms most often appear in infancy and early childhood and will affect development on various levels in verbal and non-verbal communication, the ability to relate to the world around them and other people and flexible thinking and behavior.
It is important to recognize the signs of autism early, while your baby's brain is still malleable, although diagnosis can be difficult before 2 years. Intensive treatment to rewire the brain and reverse the symptoms of autism are best begun by the age of 18 months and some of the signs to be aware of include: no response to the sound of a familiar voice, no eye contact especially when being fed, no imitation of your facial expressions and movements, no interest in playing with others or sharing, no response to cuddling, no smiling when smiled at, no following objects with eyes. If your baby does not smile or show any signs of happy, warm expressions by the age of 6 months you should seek out advice from your pediatrician.
Research has recently indicated that environmental factors may be just as important in the cause of autism as genetics and these environmental triggers affect babies carrying a genetic vulnerability to autism.
The Autism range of disorders are complicated and extremely difficult to predict and diagnose and it is vital to monitor your baby and their behavior closely and as with any concerns, a trip to the doctor or pediatrician is advised to put your mind at rest or make further investigations.