Autism is on the rise in Malaysia and all around the world. Based on the Centre for Diseaase Control (CDC) in the United States of America, Autism occurs in every 1 in 68 children. Therefore, approximately 9,000 children in our country, Malaysia are born with autism on a yearly basis. According to NASOM (The National Autism Society of Malaysia), there has been a 30% increase in the number of those seeking services for autism across all age groups.
Autism affects the functioning of the brain in the areas of communication and social interaction. With early detection of autism in Malaysia, early intervention can be given to the child to improve outcomes. One of the most important things to do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism and to deliver effective treatment as soon as possible. Studies have shown that early intensive behavioural intervention improves communication, learning and social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Some early signs include:
Not making eye contact when being fed or smiled at
Not responding to his or her name- Doesn't use gestures to communicate
Doesn't imitate facial expressions or movements
Doesn't know how to play appropriately with peers
Doesn't initiate or respond to physical touch
Here are some developmental red flags that may require your child to seek immediate professional evaluation from a pediatrician or family doctor in Malaysia.
6 months: No warm, joyful expressions such as smiling
9 months: No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions
12 months: Lack of response to name, no babbling (baby talk) and no back-and-forth gestures (e.g. waving, pointing, showing etc.)
16 months: No spoken words
24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating
If you have questions or concerns, do contact us and make an appointment to speak to our Autism Link professionals at 03-7957 0795.