Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects individuals worldwide, including Nigeria.

While there has been progress in raising awareness, there is still a need for greater understanding and support for individuals with autism in Nigerian society.

In this blog post, we will explore the perception of autism in Nigeria and provide parents with five elaborated signs to help them identify autism in their children.

In Nigeria, awareness and understanding of this disorder have been growing. However, there are still challenges and misconceptions surrounding the disorder.

Limited awareness can delay diagnosis and intervention, while cultural beliefs may contribute to stigma and misunderstanding.

Access to services and support can also be limited, making it difficult for families to receive timely assistance for their children with autism.

Signs of Autism in Children

Here are five signs that parents can look out for when it comes to identifying autism in their child:

1️⃣ Social Communication Challenges

Children with autism often struggle with social interaction and communication.

They may have difficulty making eye contact, responding to their name, or engaging in reciprocal conversations.

Understanding nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions or body language, can also be challenging for them.

2️⃣ Delayed or atypical language development

Language delays or atypical language development can be indicators of autism.

Children may start speaking later than expected or struggle with language comprehension and expression. They may repeat words or phrases without using them for communication (echolalia).

3️⃣ Repetitive behaviours and interests:

Repetitive behaviours and restricted interests are common characteristics of autism.

Children may engage in repetitive movements like hand-flapping, spinning, or rocking.

They may also display intense and focused interests in specific topics or objects, often to the exclusion of other activities.

4️⃣ Sensory Sensitivities

Many children with autism have sensory sensitivities.

They may be hypersensitive or hypersensitive to sensory stimuli, such as loud noises, bright lights, or certain textures.

These sensitivities can significantly impact their daily life and may result in strong reactions or seeking specific sensory input for regulation.

5️⃣ Difficulty With Transitions And Changes

Children with autism often struggle with changes in routines or transitions.

They may become upset or have difficulty adapting to new environments or unexpected changes in their daily activities.

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Maintaining rigid adherence to practices and experiencing challenges with flexibility are common signs.

It is important to remember that every child is unique.

Parents should consult healthcare professionals and specialists for a comprehensive evaluation and guidance if parents observe these signs in their child.

With improved education, advocacy, and access to services, Nigeria can foster a more inclusive society that supports the needs and well-being of individuals with autism and their families.

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