Did you know that at some hospitals, the waiting list to get your child diagnosed for autism can be up to two years long? Poon Li-Wei speaks to Dr Rosalie Yip Cheng Wan, paediatrician, paediatric cardiologist, and consultant at Sunway Medical Centre.
Today, it’s no longer just called autism, it’s called autistic spectrum disorder – meaning it’s a spectrum. Those at the severe end of the spectrum are easier to notice as they exhibit stereotypical behaviour.
What to look for?
By 18 months of age, your child should be able to say one or two words of meaning. if they aren’t speaking, it can be a bit of a concern. Although, not all speech delays are due to childhood autism. Children with autism will most probably have poor eye contact; prefer to be alone; shun social interaction; do not respond to their name when called; get upset by minor changes to routine or surroundings; and have repetitive behaviours such as spinning, rocking, flapping or even head-banging.
Stop and think!
How much time does your child spend on her gadget? Her behaviour of not wanting to interact with others could also be due to an overexposure to gadgets. Try limiting this for a month to see if there are changes before jumping to conclusions.