[Q&A] Anak saya terlalu aktif

Question: Salam Sejahtera. Saya ingin bertanya, macam mana nak kenal pasti kanak-kanak autism ni? saya confuse. sebab anak saya terlalu active, tapi dia bijak, cepat belajar dan masa tidur dia lebih kurang10 jam waktu malam dan 2 jam waktu siang. semua cakap dia hyperactive/autism.Saya sedih bila orang asyik cakap dia ada penyakit autism. Dia memang sangat active. suka panjat2,berlari… bila dilarang dari membuat sesuatu, dia suka buat ugutan dengan buka pampers dia dan cuba kencing atas lantai. hahaha.tapi bagi saya itu normal la kan bagi kanak2 lelaki??

Answer: The language problem can also indicate other health conditions such as the following:

Hearing impairment: The inability to hear can result in speech delay because babies begin early speech by imitating sounds. Hearing loss can also occur from chronic ear infections.
Oral impairment: An unusual oral structure such as a tongue tie can limit the free movement of the tongue for speech.
Intellectual disability: Intellectual disability is one of the most common causes of speech delay.
Expressive language disorder: A child with expressive language disorder has normal development in areas such as social skills and intellectual ability but has trouble expressing ideas in speech without appropriate intervention.
It is also important to realize that some children with speech delay are simply late talkers and go on to develop an age-appropriate vocabulary and speech skills. In these cases, the children may not have any underlying medical condition.

The features of autism

1. Social interaction

Poor social interaction
Lack of interest in other children
Lack of seeking to share own enjoyment
Failure to develop peer relations
Failure to join in activities of others
Failure to direct adult’s attention to own activity
Does not show affection
Does not seek or offer comfort
Dislikes social touch and being held
Lack of social responsiveness
Ignores people
Lack of social play
Being in own world
Prefers being alone
Indifferent to others
Lack of attention to voices
No social smile
Lack of eye contact
Lack of gesture
Lack of facial expression
No greeting behaviours
2. Communication

Lack of verbal communication
No social chat
Lack/limited range of facial expression
No/abnormal eye contact
No or “empty” smiling
Loss of previously acquired words
Problems with language comprehension
Does not express emotion
Poor imitation
Lack of infant babble
Echolalia (repeating or “echoing” whatever words he hears)
No gaze monitoring
No pointing to express interest
No use or understanding of gestures
3. Stereotyped and repetitive routines, behaviours and interests

Verbal rituals
Hand and finger mannerisms
Whole body mannerisms
Unusual/repetitive preoccupations
Unusual/repetitive attachment to objects
4. Play and sensory

Lack of spontaneous play
Lack of imitative play
No pretend play
Sensitivity to noise
Unusual sensory interests
Mouthing of objects
Unusual looking at objects/patterns/movements
Differentiating between speech delay, developmental delay and autism in young children.

Parents of young children with autism often report delayed speech as their first concern, but speech delay is not specific to autism. Delayed speech is also present in young children with global developmental delay caused by intellectual disability and those with severe to profound hearing loss.

Children with speech delays or hearing loss are usually able to compensate for their limited or lack of speech by the use of non verbal communication skills such as using gestures (e.g. pointing), eye contact and facial expression to get their message across. These children also respond to praise, imitate and engage in make believe play. Children with developmental delay will also usually attain these skills when their developmental level passes about 12 months of age.

However, the child with autism continues to have ongoing problems with delayed and disordered language, social communication skills, empathy and pretend play skills regardless of developmental level .

What to look for in the first year of life (for autistic features)

Lack of social smile
Lack of appropriate facial expression
Poor attention
Not responsive to name
Unusual looking at objects/patterns/movements
What additional things to look for in the two year old:

Ignoring people
Preference for being alone
Lack of or impaired eye contact
Lack of gestures (e.g. pointing to objects)
Lack of emotional expression
Lack of age appropriate play with toys
Once hearing loss is ruled out, he need to be referred to speech and language therapist. There is hope for a child with autism and speech delay to expand his vocabulary and speech ability through therapy. Even in cases where a child with autism remains nonverbal, there are effective methods of nonverbal communication that allow the child to express himself and communicate. Early intervention is essential to treating autism and speech delay for the best possible outcome.

So I would suggest that you bring your child to see his doctor for proper assessment in order to get appropriate therapy as early as possible.