There is no exact condition known as autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), instead it is considered a range of neurodevelopmental disorders which affect social functioning, communication and disturbances in behaviour and activities. While the main characteristics of autism concerns focus and interest in certain areas of their life, the result is social withdraw from those who don’t share these interest, difficulty in social interaction and communication as well as behavioral disturbances.
While many children with autism find particular interests they can excel at, many find basic education such as schooling difficult particularly without special consideration of their needs. The more that is understood about the disorder the more these challenges can be met with special needs education and carers who are receptive to the disorder and are trained to accommodate the child and create a more adaptable environment preventing distressing situations which can cause the child anxiety and further isolation.
While the exact cause of the disorder is not known, there are many genetic and environmental factors which have been linked to autism although no solid evidence has been produced. Upon diagnosis of a child with autism, it is best to accommodate their needs as much as possible to help the child develop in line with their peers as much as possible, providing support to their communication skills as well as encouraging the activities they do show interest in.
Avoiding Eye Contact
One of the first signs your child may have autism is when their eyes may have difficulty meeting their parents’. Children with autism generally have their attention elsewhere which can make it difficult for them to respond when being engaged particularly through eye contact. While avoiding eye contact could be a symptom for another condition such as low vision or blindness, autism is generally the first disorder to be tested particularly when other symptoms have been identified. Lack of eye contact can be a concern for parents who are struggling to connect with their child.