Steps to detect autism:

Parents obviously want the best for their children and always want to make sure that they are as happy as possible, as well as being as healthy as possible. One of the things that parents should watch for, however, is signs that their child might be suffering from autism or autistic spectrum disorder. The signs of this disease are not immediately obvious compared to a cut finger or bruised knee.

The signs of autism, if you are watching for them, are best to be discovered before the child reaches 1 year old. When caught early, the chances of minimizing the effects of autism are dramatically reduced. Even at very young ages such as a few weeks to a few months, you may be concerned if the child has little or no responsiveness to external stimuli, perhaps seems oblivious to parents or caretakers in the same room or holding them. As they get a bit older, another sign is a failure to anticipate movement, such as when you walk by or wave your hand in front of them.

As parents wanting the best for their children to be able to grow up and mature in a normal manner, it is important to watch for signs of this disorder, also known as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, as quickly as possible. The effects of this disorder can do serious harm to the child's social development, social interactions, communication skills with others, and their ability to adapt to new situations, which can even extend to staying with you in a hotel on vacation instead of being in their own bed.

There is also a health risk that is enhanced for children with autism, since studies have shown that the autistic child will develop more slowly than other children of the same age and will also typically be more susceptible to diseases and illnesses such as allergies, some mild digestive disorders, and even respiratory problems.

Some of the signs of possible autism in your child that you should watch for and be aware of would include:

* Responsiveness abnormalities. Children with autism do not respond in the same way as children without autism, and frequently do not even respond to hearing their own name. Children with autism are known to virtually ignore certain sounds.

* Attention span. Children with autism are frequently unable to concentrate or focus on objects that are shown to them, and also have problems following movement, such as when a parent walks past them.

* Lack of imitational skills. Autistic children frequently do not imitate their parents with facial expressions or gestures such as waving, smiling, or making faces.

* Poor social skills. People afflicted with this disorder often have difficulty in understanding other people's feelings, relating to others around them, or even to be able to illustrate compassion for someone else in distress.

* Lack of imagination. Autistic children frequently have problems in playing "pretend games" or using their imagination. Children with autism frequently are unable to see things in a way other than the way things actually are.

A great reference for parents concerned about autism in their children, and no parenting library should be without can be found at our web site.

It is important to watch for these signs at very early ages during a child's development, since if autism is successfully diagnosed at an early age, chances are much better that measures can be taken at that very young age to minimize the effects of the disorder.

There are some more Instrictions:

Step 1: Learn about the signs of autism. Signs of autism include strange social interactions, peculiar use of language and non-ordinary cognitive skills, among others.

Step 2: Watch for strange movements by your toddler, such as flapping arms or shaking of the body when excited. Sometimes, a child with autism conveys emotions with body gestures rather than words to get what he wants.

Step 3: Assess whether your toddler understands what you're saying most of the time. Some children with autism do not follow directions, appear to be deaf at times and may not respond to their name.

Step 4: Observe your child's visual behavior. Autistic children often become fixated on a single object for long durations. For example, some autistic children will stare at spinning wheels or objects that move in a repetitive way.

Step 5: Take note of skills that your child may have that other children don't possess. Some autistic children learn to read at a very early age (even by the age of one or two) while others can learn an instrument quickly or have an intense fascination with details, electronics, etc.

Step 6: Observe how your child acts in a social situation. Many autistic children prefer to play alone, act inappropriately with others and simply tune others out.