Understanding not responding to name as a sign of ASD
Every child is expected to reach certain growth milestones and learn new skills. A delay in learning or reaching age appropriate milestones can be indicative of developmental delays and some underlying problems. It has been found that in many cases a child not responding to his or her own name is a sign of such a developmental delay.
Children are is ideally expected to respond to their names at an early age of 8 to 10 months. Children who do not respond to their name or other simple instructions may be indicative of having autism.
A child not responding to name finds challenging to be a part of the social setup and may also have other communication delays as well. When we are trying to get attention of someone we call them by name, responding to name is therefore a vital part of interpersonal communication in social and academic life of a child.
The good thing is parents can use this indicator to get the child checked by and expert and get the benefit of early intervention.
“Lack of awareness and information hampers the proper development of the children and this affects their academic and social lives, parents should oberve how a child is learning and responding to things,” says Meera M a parent.
A child diagnosed on time has higher chances of being helped through the challenges posed by a disorder. A delay in identifying the problems faced by the children only makes it more difficult for them to cope and grow.
Here are a few things to consider.
Parents can try to teach the child to respond to name through various methods.
Teaching in a distraction free space is recommended to get better response.
The child should find the method interesting and fun and it should be repeated often at shorter intervals.
Rewarding system should be used to encourage the child.
Make it clear that the aim of the activity is to learn to respond to name.
Involve siblings in the learning process to make it more effective.
Observe the severity of lack of response to name. Some children may respond at times while others may not respond at all.
Once the child learns to respond in isolation, some distractions should be introduced during sessions.
Practice by calling the child’s name while he or she is busy in some other activities.
Seek the help of experts to assess the child’s developmental pace.
“It is important for parents to recognise the speech and communication difficulties faced by the child. If they notice something, they must get it assessed and diagnosed at the earliest”, says Subhashini Rao, Founder, Sankalp Special School, Chennai
Autism has many other signs and symptoms and failing to respond to name is not the only indicator. It could also be due to other problems such as language or communication delays. While in some cases, a cgild responding well to name can still be on the spectrum. However, the assessment of response to name may be useful in the early identification of autism spectrum disorder -ASD.