Many cognitive or physical developmental disorders begin showing signs and symptoms very early in a child’s life, even as young as 6 months old. In fact, many pediatricians urge screening between the ages of 18 months and 30 months.
Why is an Early Diagnosis Important?
Different developmental diagnoses will have different treatment, and the sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner treatment can begin. A great deal of the treatment for these disorders involves behavioral work, and research has found that this treatment is much more effective when it starts as early as possible.
In addition to making the treatment more effective, early diagnosis can also make life a lot easier for the child and their family. An early diagnosis allows you to adapt and modify your life at an early age. Routines and environments can be set up from the beginning so there’s less disruption for both the child and the family.
What are Some Signs of Autism or Other Development Disorders?
Parental involvement and awareness is a key part of getting an early diagnosis for developmental disorders. If a parent knows what to look for, they can bring any possible signs to the attention of their doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms cover a broad range of social and behavioral factors. Parents should see a doctor if they notice any of these signs:
- Not responding with a smile or happy expression at 6 months.
- Not mimicking sounds or facial expression at 9 months.
- Not babbling or cooing at 12 months.
- Not gesturing, such as pointing or waving, at 14 months.
- Not saying single words by 16 months.
- Not playing “make-believe” or pretend at 18 months.
- Not saying two word phrases by 24 months.
- Losing previously acquired language or social skills at any age.
Just because you see these signs, that doesn’t mean your child has a development disorder. They’re just signs that additional screening should be done. This is why it’s important to get your child screened if you see any of the above symptoms or signs in your child.
Remember that You’re Not on Your Own
It’s important to know that you don’t have to tackle this on your own. There are plenty of resources available that take advantage of modern technology to help parents get a diagnosis and start treatment as early as possible.
Behavior Imaging – https://behaviorimaging.com/noda/
Behavior Imaging’s NODA program allows you to perform ASD screening in the comfort of your home instead of at a clinic. They have a platform that allows you to take videos of your child perform key actions. These videos are then reviewed by specialists to help you get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible without having to wait months or even years for a clinical specialist.
Reach ASD – http://www.reachasd.com/
This new company is working to give everyone access to the support they need for ASD. It uses video chats to connect specialists directly to people in rural areas, or areas where there isn’t an easily accessible ASD specialist.