Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 30, 2023 (SKNIS): Red flags for parents and other people to consider that may suggest that a child is autistic were shared on Wednesday (March 30, 2023), as the nation prepares to observe Autism Awareness Day on April 02.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, is a developmental disorder of the brain. It includes a wide range of conditions that affect social interaction and communication and is characterized by challenges to social skills and repetitive behaviour.
On the radio and television programme InFocus, Alice Francis, Learning Specialist at the St. Kitts Spectrum Services Centre, noted that repetitive behaviour is a key telltale sign.
“Some of the red flags that you can look for to find out if these persons are repetitively going over a certain action over and over again, if they are just drawn to certain things like maybe a truck, following the spinning wheels; maybe the flickering of the light, [or] walking on their toes,” Ms. Francis stated.
She added that other concerning signs include persons not responding to their names or not recognizing their names, being withdrawn, non-verbal and not making eye contact, being unaware of their surroundings, flickering their hands and/or rocking back and forth, and running around in circles.
It is important to remember that everyone has their own unique personality. The same is true for persons on the spectrum.
“When you see one child with autism, it is that one child with autism. That’s the reason why some persons can allow their children not to be detected because it is not a particular thing that you are looking for, seeing that it is a spectrum,” the learning specialist indicated.
Persons who suspect that their child may be on the autism spectrum can schedule an assessment session at the St. Kitts Spectrum Services Centre. To reach the centre, individuals can visit the office located within the same compound as the Industrial Site Day Care Centre or telephone 669-3767.