Dr Dimitrios Paschos shares his tips on how to spot the red flags of autism in babies and toddlers
As a passionate advocate for raising awareness about the importance of an early diagnosis of the condition, the Re:Cognition Health Consultant Psychiatrist shared his expertise in a feature on Yahoo! News for World Autism Month.
Confirming a diagnosis of autism early is a complex process
Dr Paschos comments,‘There are early signs in many cases, most notably absence of some key developmental skills. Such deficits may be subtle and difficult to identify, especially for first time parents who have no benchmarks to compare the development of their child against.’
Early signs of autism include
- No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months or thereafter
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months
- No babbling by 12 months
- No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
The Autism Specialist strongly advises any parent who has concerns about the development of their child to discuss them with their GP at the earliest possible stage.
New treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Early Start Denver Model
Whilst there is currently no cure for autism, there are a number of different treatments available for the condition. These are designed to help improve symptoms or problems resulting from Autism. At Re:Cognition Health, we are proud to be one of the first clinics in the UK to introduce the pioneering Early Start Denver Model (ESDM).
About the Early Start Denver Model
ESDM is an evidenced-based, early-intervention program used to treat toddlers with ASD. The model was developed at the UC Davis Mind Institute of the University of California. ESDM uses intensive play-based activities embedded into daily routines. ESDM can be provided in the clinic, the child’s home or a group environment, such as a nursery or day care centre.
Acknowledged as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs in 2012, it is designed to enhance language, non-verbal communication, self-care and motor skills. A number of published studies have demonstrated an improvement in the symptoms of ASD in young children enrolled in ESDM. For example, IQ, language and social behaviour. The model is used in the USA, Canada, Australia and France.