Autism: Beyond speech delay
BLOG BY DR. PUJA KAPOOR
Most of the children diagnosed with autism come to their pediatric neurologist with the concern of exclusive speech delay.
Speech Delay is the only presenting symptom, as other symptoms like inconsistent eye contact, pointing towards object, various visual, auditory, vestibular stereotypes are mistaken as a normal part of temper tantrum or behaviour.
As there is normal gross and fine motor milestones, normal physical appearance, mostly normal intelligence, other symptoms are camouflaged under hyperactivity, causing a false sense of normalcy.
Mostly parents will ask the pediatric neurologist to look for tongue tie or “tantua” ,in local language which is never the cause of speech delay.
Widespread awareness about the red flags of autism will raise the alarm and help the child reach for early intervention at an earlier age.