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25 Signs Of Autism In Children
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. It is a spectrum disorder, meaning that symptoms and severity can vary widely. Early identification and intervention can greatly improve outcomes for individuals with ASD. In this article, we will discuss 25 common signs of autism and provide some in-depth examples of each sign.
Delayed speech or language development: A child with autism may not begin to use words to communicate until after the age of two, or may only use a few words to communicate.
Repetitive use of language: A child with autism may repeat the same phrase or question over and over again, such as “what time is it?”
Difficulty understanding social cues: A child with autism may have difficulty interpreting social cues, such as not understanding when someone is being sarcastic or not recognizing when someone is upset.
Lack of interest in playing with peers: A child with autism may prefer to play alone or may have difficulty making friends.
Lack of interest in imaginative play: A child with autism may have difficulty with imaginative play, such as pretending to be a superhero or playing make-believe games.
Repetitive behaviors: A child with autism may engage in repetitive behaviors, such as hand flapping, rocking, or spinning objects.
Sensory sensitivities: A child with autism may become overwhelmed by certain sounds or textures, such as being bothered by loud noises or avoiding certain textures in food.
Difficulty with transitions or changes in routine: A child with autism may struggle with changes in routine or new environments, such as becoming upset or anxious in unfamiliar situations.
Fixation on specific topics or objects: A child with autism may become fixated on specific topics or objects, such as trains or numbers, and may talk about them constantly or collect objects related to them.
Unusual or intense reactions to sensory input: A child with autism may become upset or agitated by certain sensory inputs, such as being overly sensitive to pain or temperature changes.
Difficulty with eye contact or social reciprocity: A child with autism may have difficulty making eye contact or may not respond appropriately to social cues from others.
Unusual or restricted patterns of interest: A child with autism may have a fixation on numbers, letters, or logos, and may become upset if their routines involving these topics are disrupted.
Lack of response to verbal cues or commands: A child with autism may not respond to verbal cues or may have difficulty following commands.
Unusual movement patterns or mannerisms: A child with autism may walk on their toes, flap their hands when excited or upset, or engage in other repetitive movements.
Difficulty with fine or gross motor skills: A child with autism may have difficulty with fine or gross motor skills, such as drawing, throwing a ball, or climbing stairs.
Difficulty with executive functioning: A child with autism may have difficulty with planning, organizing, or completing tasks.
Difficulty with joint attention: A child with autism may have difficulty sharing attention with another person to an object or event.
Unusual eating or sleeping habits: A child with autism may have unusual eating or sleeping habits, such as being a picky eater or having difficulty falling asleep.
Delayed or absent babbling or pointing: A child with autism may not babble or point at objects as typical infants do.
Limited or absent social smiling: A child with autism may not smile in response to social interactions or may have limited social smiling.
Difficulty with reciprocal social interaction: A child with autism may have difficulty with reciprocal social interaction, such as taking turns in conversation or play.
Inability to engage in pretend play or make-believe games: A child with autism may not understand the concept of pretend play or may have difficulty engaging in make-believe games.
Difficulty with social reciprocity or turn-taking in conversations or play: A child with autism may have difficulty with social reciprocity, such as taking turns in conversation or play.
Difficulty interpreting or responding to social cues such as facial expressions, tone of voice, or body language: A child with autism may not recognize or respond appropriately to social cues, such as not recognizing when someone is angry or not understanding sarcasm.
Difficulty understanding and expressing emotions or empathy for others: A child with autism may have difficulty understanding and expressing emotions or may lack empathy for others.
What Parents Should Do If They Observe Signs Of Autism In Their Children
If a parent observes signs of autism in their child, they should consult with their child’s pediatrician or a qualified healthcare professional who specializes in autism. Early identification and intervention can greatly improve outcomes for children with autism, so it is important to seek a diagnosis and appropriate interventions as soon as possible.
The parent can share their observations with the healthcare professional and request an evaluation for autism. The evaluation may include standardized assessments and observation of the child’s behavior, communication, and social interactions. The healthcare professional may also gather information from the parent, teachers, or other caregivers who work closely with the child.
If the child is diagnosed with autism, the healthcare professional may recommend a treatment plan tailored to the child’s specific needs. This may include behavioral interventions, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, or medication. The parent can also seek out support groups or resources in their community for families of children with autism.
It is important for the parent to be an advocate for their child and work closely with their healthcare team to ensure that the child receives the best possible care and support.
Autism can present in a variety of ways, but the signs generally fall into the categories of social communication difficulties, repetitive behaviors and interests, sensory sensitivities, and difficulty with transitions. If you are concerned about your child’s development, talk to your pediatrician or a qualified healthcare professional. Early intervention and support can greatly improve outcomes for individuals with autism.