Many families are happy when their children learn to read early, and many children even know how to do math before they even go to school. However, early literacy can be a sign of autism or, more specifically, high functioning autism.
Early reading is a sign of autism?
Autism/autism disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that ranges from mild to severe. Symptoms of this disease usually begin before the age of 3 years and the risk is higher in boys (4-6 times higher than in girls).
Autism is characterized by deficits in communication/language, behavior, social interaction and poor cognition. In addition, some children also show signs of hyperactivity and emotional disturbances. These deficiencies cannot be completely overcome, but can only be improved through interventions and education.
Often, children with autism will have speech delays or even no speech even after 1-2 months. Children also do not react when hearing adults call their name and do not know how to use gestures such as shaking their head, pointing, waving, etc. to communicate.
However, there are still some children with autism who learn to read early. Specifically, some children from 2 to 3 years old know how to do math and read aloud without being taught by their parents or anyone. Many people think that this is a sign that children possess a high IQ without knowing that early reading can be a manifestation of autism spectrum disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder is divided into 3 types: general autism/typical autism, high functioning autism (Asperger’s syndrome) and pervasive developmental disorder unspecified. In particular, children with high-functioning autism often have high IQs and can read and do math very early.
According to statistics, about 10% of children with autism have IQ higher than normal people, 30% have normal IQ, 60% have low and very low IQ. Despite their high IQ, children with high functioning autism still have defects in such aspects as poor communication skills, limited social interaction, inability to express emotions, lack of humor comedy,…
In general, autism spectrum disorder in any form affects the development of children. However, children with high functioning autism have a better prognosis. With early examination and intervention, children can develop and learn well.
In fact, early literacy is not necessarily a symptom of autism. In many cases, children can learn to read through educational programs on television, learning from parents or siblings. This shows that children have a good ability to absorb and learn. However, families should not force children to learn letters too early, but should let children develop naturally and acquire knowledge by themselves through daily life.
How to detect children with autism to read early?
Early reading can be a sign of a child’s ability to learn, but can sometimes be a symptom of autism. In essence, children with this disorder will still experience a developmental disorder. Therefore, other aspects such as communication, social interaction, behavior, etc. will still have defects.
To determine whether early reading is due to autism, parents can rely on a number of accompanying symptoms such as:
- Children with strange speech and language, even intonation or sometimes overly formal
- The child has almost no nonverbal communication (eye contact or gestures, gestures)
- The movements are not rhythmic and clumsy
- Children’s words are often mechanical, repetitive, leading to difficulty making friends and having difficulty communicating
- Children tend to have one-way conversations – words that are narrative in nature instead of questions, inquiries, and statements that require interaction between the child and the listener.
- Children with Asperger’s syndrome are often passionately interested in something from the simple to the complex.
- Children do not understand jokes and lack humor.
- Difficulty regulating emotions.
Children with high-functioning autism have normal to high IQs, so they sometimes don’t have problems learning. However, other aspects of the child are affected to some extent.
Compared with typical autism, Asperger’s syndrome is more difficult to recognize. Therefore, families often do not detect the child’s abnormal expressions or ignore these signs because they realize that the child is intelligent and absorbs the lesson quickly. Delay in examination and intervention will significantly affect the effectiveness of treatment.
Advice for parents when their child has autism
Autism is a disease that cannot be completely cured. However, early intervention can help children improve communication, increase cognition, and enhance social skills. For children with Asperger’s syndrome, the prognosis is often better than for children with typical autism. With early intervention and proper education, children can even fully recover and develop as well as their peers.
Advice for parents when a child has autism:
- Immediately after noticing abnormal signs in children, children should be examined soon. According to experts, the golden time to intervene for children with autism is from 18 to 36 months of age. At this time, the percentage of children who can fully recover is up to 30% and the remaining cases have made remarkable progress.
- Interventions and education for children with autism take a lot of time. Therefore, parents need to be patient and spend a lot of time to support the child in the treatment process.
- Treatment for children with autism in our country is still limited because most rehabilitation centers are concentrated in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. If you live in another locality, parents should actively learn about autism and find methods that can be done at home to facilitate treatment.
- In addition to therapy time, parents need to spend a lot of time playing and taking their children to many different environments such as public places, travelling, going to hospitals, parks, etc., so that children can increase their ability to communicate and receive messages. awake.
- Give your child regular medication as directed by the doctor. Medication cannot cure autism but can improve symptoms such as qualitative behavior, hyperactivity, aggression, self-injury, etc.
Early reading is sometimes a sign of autism. Therefore, families need to pay attention to accompanying symptoms to help children have the opportunity to be diagnosed and intervened early. Besides medical methods, the family also plays an important role in the rehabilitation of children with autism.