Even though there exists little statistics for Ghana and other African countries; research estimates that one in every 87 children under the age of three in Ghana is autistic.
Autism is a set of developmental differences that affect how people communicate, behave and interact with others.Babies learn to gesture before they talk. Every parent closely monitors their child’s development. You should be able to detect early signs of development issue if you know what you are looking for.
Recognizing the signs
Early signs of autism are usually the absent skills and abilities you kid should possess at a certain age. Don’t brush it off as a delay and have your fingers crossed expecting miracle. Go see a doctor for clear diagnosis on your observation. Your child’s physical appearance doesn’t change from being autistic, it’s just a difference in how they relate to the world around them and how they communicate. It’s important to seek professional healthcare if you notice these;
Little or no gesturing
Gesturing is an early form of communication for babies. Kids with autism rarely do this. It can be also be just a sign of speech delay, but it’s better to know the truth than to assume. See your doctor.
Not responding to their name
A child should recognize his name especially from the mother by 7 months. Children with autism hardly respond to their own names. When you observe this pattern, you know what you should be doing, don’t waste time.
Not making eye contact
Babies can locate faces and make eye contact skillfully by their 3month, it’s a way they start to gain information and try to understand what is around them. Not doing this can be an early sign of autism.
Reduced emotions in facial expressions
Autistic children show less emotions in their facial expressions. It does not mean they are emotionless or feel less emotions, they express less of it on their faces.
If your child isn’t saying a single word by age 1-2, it’s a good time to see a doctor.
There are so many things you can do to help if your child is diagnosed with autism. You can try speech therapy among others so do not panic. Being diagnosed with autism isn’t the end of the world. Acting early can make a big difference in your child’s development.