Are you worried that your child might have autism? These 4 tests should help you detect the early signs of autism in children.
It's important for parents to know the signs of autism in children, especially at an early age, so that they can better help their child develop and grow well.
Here are 4 ways to know if your child might have autism:
1. Eye tracking test
To do this test, you need 2 things: a colorful photo, and an interesting object or toy. Hold each one of those in your hand, and you should be about a foot away from your baby's face.
Next, count how many times your child looks at both of the objects in your hands within the span of a minute. You can also do this test for a few days, and take note of the average number of times that your child scans or tracks the objects with their eyes.
For the most part, a healthy and developing infant usually tracks the objects between 4-8 times in a minute. Older children should scan the objects more times.
A low number can potentially mean that your child might have signs of autism, or is within the spectrum.
2. Sound and object test
You should try this activity while your child is sitting in a recliner or on a high chair. You need an interesting toy, and a small bell that you can ring.
What you need to do would be to show the toy to your child so that their attention is focused on the toy, and then ring the bell. Make sure to not show your child the bell, you can place it behind your child's head or hide it where your child can't see it. Your child should notice the sound, and then try to look for where it's coming from.
Take note of how many times your child turns their head to hear where the sound is coming from, and take note of how many times you had to ring the bell before your child notices the sound.
Developing children usually turn within 2-3 seconds on average. Older children should be able to notice the sound even faster than infants or babies.
3. Social engagement
This test should be done for children who are three months old or older.
In order to do it, you need to face your baby, hold a neutral expression on your face, and then make a big smile.
Take note of how many times your baby smiles back at you. For children who are developing normally, they should smile back each time you smile at them.
4. Following an object
To do this test, you need to lay your baby down and place a pillow on each side of your baby's head so that they can't turn their heads fully.
Next, hold a red ball in one hand, and move it slowly from left to right, about a foot away from your baby's head.
Take note of your baby's eye movements, and count how many times their eyes follow the ball, even for only a short time.
Your baby should typically start following the ball's movements with their eyes all the way to the left and all the way to the right.
It is important to note that these tests should give you an idea if your child might have autism. They're not conclusive proof, as it's important that you take your child to a doctor to get diagnosed in order to confirm if they have autism or not.