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How To Tell If Your Child Is Autistic

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What Are The Signs Of Asd In Babies

How and When to Tell Your Child They’re Autistic

Diagnosing ASD is challenging. One reason for this is that the condition presents differently in all individuals.

Babies can reach developmental milestones at slightly different ages, even when they do not have any health conditions. However, some developmental differences indicate that a baby may be autistic. These include:

What Is The Outlook For People With Autism Spectrum Disorder

In many cases, the symptoms of ASD become less pronounced as a child gets older. Parents of children with ASD may need to be flexible and ready to adjust treatment as needed for their child.

People with ASD may go on to live typical lives, but there is often need for continued services and support as they age. The needs depend on the severity of the symptoms. For most, it’s a lifelong condition that may require ongoing supports.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Through research, there has been much that has been learned about autism spectrum disorder over the past 20 years. There is ongoing active research on the causes of ASD, early detection and diagnosis, prevention and treatments.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/29/2020.

References

What To Do If Youre Worried

If your child is developmentally delayed, or if youve observed other red flags for autism, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician right away. In fact, its a good idea to have your child screened by a doctor even if he or she is hitting the developmental milestones on schedule. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children receive routine developmental screenings, as well as specific screenings for autism at 9, 18, and 30 months of age.

Schedule an autism screening. A number of specialized screening tools have been developed to identify children at risk for autism. Most of these screening tools are quick and straightforward, consisting of yes-or-no questions or a checklist of symptoms. Your pediatrician should also get your feedback regarding your childs behavior.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Autism

There are many signs and symptoms that could indicate a person has autism spectrum disorder. Not all adults or children with autism will have every symptom, and some adults and children without autism may display some of the same behaviors and symptoms.

People with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulties with communication, and connecting emotionally and socially with others. They may also process sensory information, such as sounds and smells, differently from other people. These differences can underlie some of the behavioral signs of autism that people may display.

When looking for early signs of autism spectrum disorder, there are developmental milestones that children are expected to reach by certain ages, such as babbling by four months old and being able to use simple sentences by two years old. If a child reaches these milestones later, or does not develop the skills at all, it may indicate a developmental disorder such as autism spectrum disorder.

Autism can be diagnosed by age two, though symptoms may be apparent much earlier.

Challenging Behaviors In Autism

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People with autism spectrum disorder may exhibit behaviors which put themselves at risk, cause difficulties for people around them or which are not socially acceptable.

Around 50 percent of people with autism engage in behavior that can cause themselves harm when they feel frustrated, overwhelmed or unwell. Such behaviors can include:

  • Banging their head on walls or other objects
  • Hitting themselves, e.g. hitting their head with their hands
  • Poking themselves in the eye
  • Pulling their hair
  • Biting themselves
  • Smearing feces

A person with autism who feels frustrated, overwhelmed or feeling unwell may also display physically aggressive behavior. This can include:

  • Throwing objects
  • Hitting, slapping or biting other people
  • Pulling other peopleââ¬â¢s hair

Some people with autism eat objects that are not edible, or keep the objects in their mouth, a behavior known as pica. It is the most common eating disorder found in people with autism spectrum disorder. People may eat anything, including dirt or soap.

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Autism Symptoms Vary In Severity And Expression

Most parents find out about their childs disorder in a similar fashion. However, it can be difficult for many new parents to identify autism symptoms because those symptoms can vary considerably and even overlap with other disorders or even with unusual behaviors that are nonetheless found even in neurotypical children.

All autism symptoms find root in one of three different categories:

  • Communication
  • Social skills
  • Behavioral patterns

No single category or symptom necessarily means that a child has autism. However, a combination of these at least means that it is time to get a professional opinion.

Communication Difficulties Can Be Difficult to Spot

Because all children develop at different rates, communication-related symptoms can be some of the hardest for parents to spot. A general delay in the development of speech and language skills can simply be put down to normal variation. But other communication problems are easier to spot:

  • Consistently flat or musical voice.
  • Consistent repetition of certain words of phrases.
  • Problems with pronoun use .
  • Unable to pick up common gestures.

In older children, communication issues can also be signaled by the inability to carry on a conversational thread and being unable to recognize jokes or sarcasm.

Social Difficulties Show Up in Common Interactions

Strange Behavioral Patterns Are Often The Biggest Clue

How To Test A Child For Autism

You may ask your childs healthcare provider to periodically check your child for signs of autism with a developmental screening test. A screening test alone will not result in a diagnosis but can indicate if your child should see a specialist. A developmental pediatrician, child psychologist or psychiatrist, pediatric neurologist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or other specialist can conduct a formal developmental evaluation.

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What Are The Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Signs of ASD range from mild to severely disabling, and every person is different. The following signs are considered to be red flags that indicate your young child may be at risk for autism. If your child shows any of the following signs, please get in touch with your childs healthcare provider to discuss a referral for an autism evaluation.

The signs include the following:

  • Your child doesnt respond to their name being called at all or responds inconsistently.
  • Your child doesnt smile widely or make warm, joyful expressions by the age of 6 months.
  • Your child doesnt engage in smiling, making sounds and making faces with you or other people by the age of 9 months.
  • Your child doesnt babble by 12 months.
  • No back-and-forth gestures such as showing, pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months.
  • No words by 16 months.
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months.
  • Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.

Loss Of Language Or Social Skills

How To Know If Your Child Has Autism

Children with autism may seem unwilling to speak or verbalize even though they used to do so. For example, a baby who used to babble or make nonsense noises might stop as he gets older. Children with autism may also withdraw from social situations even though they used to seem comfortable playing with or around other kids, according to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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Warning Signs Of High Functioning Autism In Children

by Heather | Apr 19, 2020 | Autism – Special Needs |

Whether you are familiar with autism or not, its very likely that you know or have met someone who has autism spectrum disorder. When people think of autism, they often picture a child who cannot speak or care for themselves.

Of course, that is autism, but one thing thats not as well known is that autism spectrum disorder has a very broad set of symptoms and characteristics.

There are also several different functioning levels of autism including mild, moderate, and severe. However, these levels also have a wide variety of symptoms that can be different for each person.

Now, your childs doctor is looking out for any signs of severe autism by keeping an eye on their developmental progress. So if they are behind on walking, talking, and etc, those could be signs of autism.

However, when you have a child who is high functioning autistic, they can slip through the cracks because the signs may not be quite as obvious.

This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.

Rarely Shares Their Interests With You

Babies are eager to share their interests with you, first with gestures like showing and pointing, and then with sounds and words.

Notice what your baby is paying attention to to figure out what theyre interested in.

If your baby rarely their interests with you, this can be an early sign of autism.

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How To Tell A Child They Are Autistic

Last Updated: April 8, 2021References

wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 11 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 11,362 times.

Introducing autism with a positive attitude can help your child accept that they are different and influence whether a diagnosis holds them back or helps them succeed.

How To Spot Signs Of Autism In Teenagers

How do you know if your autistic child

This article was co-authored by George Sachs, PsyD. George Sachs is a Licensed Psychologist and the Owner of Sachs Center based in New York, New York. With over ten years of experience, Dr. Sachs specializes in treating ADD/ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders in children, teens, and adults. He holds a BS in Psychology from Emory University. Dr. Sachs earned his Doctorate of Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago. He completed his clinical training in Chicago at Cook County Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and the Child Study Center. Dr. Sachs completed his internship and postdoctoral work at the Childrens Institute in Los Angeles, where he supervised and trained therapists in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . He has been trained as a Gestalt Therapist and certified by the Gestalt Associates Training Program of Los Angeles. Dr. Sachs is the author of The Adult ADD Solution, Helping the Traumatized Child, and Helping Your Husband with Adult ADD. He has appeared on the Huffington Post, NBC Nightly News, CBS, and WPIX discussing his holistic approach to ADD/ADHD treatment.There are 32 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 91,087 times.

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Communication: Early Signs Of Autism

In the first year of life, childrens social and communication development is an important area to watch for early signs of autism. Social and communication development includes things like learning to smile, make eye contact, and use gestures.

Social interaction and communicationIf young children are autistic, they might:

  • not consistently use eye contact to get someones attention for example, they might not always look at you and then at a snack to show you they want it, or not look back towards you when they see something that excites them
  • rarely point to or hold up objects to show you things for example, they might not point to a dog and look back at you to make sure youve seen it too, or they might drop a toy in your lap and walk away instead of holding it up and looking at you
  • not consistently respond to their name being called
  • not consistently use gestures on their own for example, they might not wave bye-bye or clap without being told to, or without copying someone else whos waving or clapping
  • not consistently smile at you or other familiar people without you smiling at them first
  • rarely copy other peoples actions, like combing their hair when you do it
  • not sound like theyre having a conversation with you when they babble
  • not understand simple, one-step instructions for example, Give me the block or Show me the dog.

Relationships and playIf young children are autistic, they might:

As Autism Awareness Increases Across The Country More Parents Are Gaining An Understanding That Their Kids Are Not Just Socially Awkward Or Late Bloomers But That They Are Living With An Autistic Spectrum Disorder

There are different levels of disability on the Spectrum. Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism are the mildest. HFA, though no longer an accepted medical term, refers to a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders and is quite similar to AS. However, the two can be differentiated by specific characteristics more commonly associated with one than the other. If you are concerned your child may be living with HFA, understanding the distinct signs and symptoms of HFA may help you decide if you need to look for treatment for autism in Little Rock.

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Sensory Stimuli May Result In An Overreaction Or No Reaction At All

Many autistic individuals have trouble processing sensory information and can become easily overwhelmed, even on an outing to a restaurant or grocery store. Sights, sounds and movements, even tastes and smells, can all be overwhelming to the autistic child, especially in combination with one another.

This may present itself as one of two extremes: you may notice either an observable overreaction or an under-reaction to stimuli.

In the case of an overreaction, an autistic child may flinch away from touch, even something as gentle and unthreatening as a pat on the head or a touch on the arm. Others may throw a fit when getting dressed because the tactile sensation of the clothing creates a feeling of anxiety.

Some children with hypersensitivity to noise and other stimuli may react in the opposite waythey may show no response at all to sounds and visual stimuli, even things that would usually startle or surprise a child. This might strike you as so unusual that it causes you to wonder if your child is having difficulty hearing. An autistic child may also have no reaction to sensory stimuli that would ordinarily be fun, curious and exiting, something that can be just as disconcerting for a concerned parent.

ABA therapy can do wonders for sensory processing disorders, which are often a part of ASD, but also may affect neurotypical children.

Theme : Having Open And Honest Conversations About Autism

How To Tell Your Child They Are Autistic

The first theme highlighted in Crane, Lui and Davies was Normalizing the conversations about autism symptoms. Parents reported that by having frequent and frank discussions about the way that their lives are affected were important in creating an open dialogue. Conversations that began when the child was young helped the child avoid having preconceived ideas about what autism is. This allowed them to have their own experience without being weighed down by the ideas of others.

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Inspecting Toys Rather Than Playing With Them

Most young kids will inspect a toy before playing with it. But a child with autism may not move past the inspection phase, Pandey says. So while a child without autism will race a car along the floor, or fly an airplane through the air, a child with autism might continue to spin the cars tires or examine the bottom of the plane. Their interest is in the parts of the object rather than the whole, she says.

If another child tries to interact or play with him, a child with autism may not know how to react.

Signs Of Autism In Girls

The ratio of boys to girls diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is 4:1. However, there is some evidence that autism is going undiagnosed in girls, particularly those who are at the higher functioning end of the spectrum.

There is discussion around whether girls and women with autism may display different symptoms to boys and men, and that the current diagnostic criteria may be biased towards boys and stereotypical male behavior. Girls and women may also be better able to mask difficulties with social interactions than boys, and this may delay a diagnosis. New diagnostic criteria may be needed to assess ASD in girls and women. Past theories, including controversies such as the extreme male brain, may have led to under-referral and under-diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in girls and women.

Signs that a girl may have autism include:

  • Difficulties with social interactions however, differences from typical autism symptoms may include:
  • Better grasp of emotions and ability to make friends than boys
  • May mask lack of intuitive understanding of social situations by repeating role-plays seen in real life or film/television
  • May be able to make friends but find difficulty keeping them
  • Intense focus on particular topics differences in gender may be expressed as a focus on trains or dinosaurs for boys, and celebrities or animals for girls,
  • Fewer repetitive behaviors and gestures than boys, or may have different gestures than boys
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    The Early Signs Of Autism Unfold From 9 To 16 Months

    The early signs of autism are easy to miss. Autism can be diagnosed by 18-24 months but its not usually diagnosed until 4-5 years.

    This article illustrates 16 early signs of autism that unfold from 9-16 months to help you detect autism before it’s usually diagnosed.

    Diagnosing autism can be difficult because there are no medical or blood tests. The diagnosis is based on behavioral symptoms or features.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for autism at 18 and 24 months. Autism can be diagnosed by 18-24 months, but its not usually diagnosed until 4-5 years.

    The early signs of autism can have a cascading effect on brain development and lead to significant social, language, and cognitive deficits, as well as challenging behaviors, if theyre not caught early.

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