Early diagnosis of autism is one of the key means to getting the best treatment. And more and more studies are coming out that help with early diagnosis. The latest research shows that poor head control at the age of 6 months could be a sign of autism.
With this, the idea is that if a 6-month-old baby has "head lag," it could possibly be a sign of autism or a different language or developmental delay.
It's easy to test by taking your baby from the floor into a seated position. If your baby's head isn't moving forward as you pull the baby up, it's a sign of weak head and neck control. Cue the panic, right?
This is the problem with this kind of news for moms. Obviously everyone wants to know the latest research and the researchers even acknowledge that this is going to panic parents.
Alycia Halladay, director of research for environmental sciences at the advocacy group Autism Speaks, told ABC that this isn't yet a diagnostic marker, but it's a red flag and an easy one for parents to ask about.
The information isn't exactly new, either. Researchers had already known that head lag could be a sign of problems in the child's nervous system. Children with cerebral palsy and preterm infants both have this issue often. But it hadn't been seen in children with autism until now.
To find out if your child has it, it's a simple test that can tell a doctor a lot. But the question is, will moms want the test if they are already worried?
As a mom who went through all kinds of worries with my son who was a very late walker, I know how it feels to be in limbo for a diagnosis.
For us, it turned out to be nothing but just late walking, but I don't regret the CAT scans and the early intervention and the worry because I am his mom and worry is what I do best. If it wasn't late walking, it would be something else.
We are our children's best advocates. No matter how much things scare us, it's our responsibility as parents to pay attention and ask the right questions even when they scare us.
Does this worry you? Will you ask your doctor for this test?
Image via Beverly & Pack/Flickr