What Are The Symptoms Of Autism
Autisms early warning signs usually emerge sometime before a child turns three. Symptoms can start as early as 12 or 18 months for some children, while other kids with autism may not be diagnosed until the second or third grade, Pandey says. Symptoms occur over time, and they dont always happen in a doctors office, she says. Thats why parents watching for symptoms and providing that information is important.
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Pandey also says parental symptom-spotting is vital because the sooner a health professional can intervene, the better off the child will be. You cannot get autism-specific intervention until you get a diagnosis, she adds.
So what are the symptoms of autism? Here are 12 that parents need to know. Just keep in mind: Diagnosing autism is complicated. We need to see a number of these symptoms to make a diagnosis, not just one, Pandey says.
Also, different symptoms emerge at different ages. What may be a red flag for autism at age 3 could be considered typical behavior at age 1 or 2. While you should tell your childs doctor if you notice any of these symptoms, spotting one of themor even several of themis not a guarantee that your child has autism.
A Parent Mariam Narrated:
“I thought Isaac had autism very young too. He never looked at my face, ever, even while breastfeeding. He was blank, never copied anything or really responded to me, he would just wave his hands in front of his eyes continually all day.He would eat, sleep and just sit there. I remember a friend coming to visit when the twins were around five months. She picked up one baby and chatted and played with her and she smiled, laughter and played. She picked up Isaac and he showed no interest and she said it was like holding a childs doll. I knew right away then something was not right.Both mine were delayed in meeting milestones but unlike Isaac I was convinced Naomi was fine right up until she started nursery. She was a very late walker at 2 and a half but talked, gave eye contact and played.I was shocked when a senior health visitor who was using my twins as a case study for her autism degree spoke to me and suggested Naomi was tested too. My biggest concern back then was her silence in nursery and I naively thought she was just missing her twin brother and her mum!I was heartbroken at Isaacs diagnosis. His report stated severe autism with significant global developmental delay and pica. I knew he would never recover and if truth be told, it felt like a death sentence to me as all my hopes for my son vanished in one appointment.”
Prenatal Factors That May Contribute To Autism
Taking antidepressants during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months.
Nutritional deficiencies early in pregnancy, particularly not getting enough folic acid.
The age of the mother and father.
Complications at or shortly after birth, including very low birth weight and neonatal anemia
Maternal infections during pregnancy.
Exposure to chemical pollutants, such as metals and pesticides, while pregnant.
More research on these prenatal risk factors is needed, but if youre pregnant or trying to conceive, it cant hurt to take steps now to reduce your babys risk of autism.
Reducing the risk of autism: Tips for expectant mothers
Take a multivitamin. Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Its not clear whether this will also help reduce risk of autism, but taking the vitamins cant hurt.
Ask about SSRIs. Women who are taking an SSRI should talk with a clinician about all the risks and benefits of these drugs. Untreated depression in a mother can also affect her childs well-being later on, so this is not a simple decision to make.
Practice prenatal care. Eating nutritious food, trying to avoid infections, and seeing a clinician for regular check-ups can increase the chances of giving birth to a healthy child.
Source: Harvard Health Publications
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Could My Child Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental condition that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. Catching autism spectrum disorder early can lead to improved quality of life. By recognizing the early signs and symptoms, you can get your child the help he or she needs to learn, grow and thrive.
Autism spectrum disorder symptoms
Some children show signs of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy, such as reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers. Others develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then suddenly become withdrawn or aggressive or lose language skills they’ve already acquired. Signs usually are seen by age 2.
Each child with autism spectrum disorder is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior and level of severity from low-functioning to high-functioning.
Some children with the disorder have difficulty learning, and some have signs of lower than normal intelligence. Other children have normal to high intelligence they learn quickly, yet have trouble communicating and applying what they know in everyday life and adjusting to social situations. Because each child can have a unique mixture of symptoms, severity sometimes can be difficult to determine. It’s generally based on the level of impairments and how they affect the ability to function.
Social communication and interaction
Patterns of behavior
When to seek help
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Early Signs Of Autism In Toddlers And Preschoolers
Early signs of autism in toddlers and preschoolers include the ones listed above, so take note if your older baby avoids looking you in the eye, doesnt respond to his name by the time he turns a year old, and doesnt point, smile, babble or enjoy being held.
In addition to those early signs in babies, you might also notice the following early symptoms of autism in your older child:
Doesn’t engage in pretend play by 18 months
Prefers to play alone and doesnt seem to understand feelings in other people
Doesn’t speak or speaks with an unusual rhythm or monotone
Gives unrelated answers to questions
Appears to ignore your request
Repeats certain words or phrases constantly
Throws frequent temper tantrums in response to minor changes in routine
Intentionally and repeatedly inflicts harm on himself
Acts obsessively interested in something a rugs pattern or the spinning wheels on a toy
Moves spastically flaps hands, rocks, or spins his body in a circle
Reacts to sounds, smells or touch in an abnormal way
Has unusual food preferences
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They Handle Toys In A Different Way
Sometimes, you may observe that autistic children interact with objects differently than other kids. A customarily developed child, for example, could pretend to drive a toy truck by rolling it over the ground.
A youngster with autism, on the other hand, may play with one of the truck’s wheels, spinning it around and around without concern for the remainder of the item.
Hard To Look At You And Use A Gesture And Sound
Babies learn to use gestures and sounds from 9-16 months to let you know what they want or dont want, and what theyre interested in.
It should be easy for your baby to use a gesture and sound while theyre looking at you.
If its hard for your baby to look at you and use a gesture and sound, all at the same time, this can be an early sign of autism.
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Being On The Spectrum Can Mean A Wide Variety Of Experiences
Autism is described as a spectrum of disorders for a reason. Signs of autism can present differently.
Some individuals will have significant behavior and communication challenges that make the possibility of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis more likely.
In other cases, caregivers may notice occasional atypical behaviors but that dont immediately cause them to seek a full behavioral health evaluation.
In the latter scenario, a child may never have their autism diagnosed or addressed therapeutically. Its possible that mildly-expressed forms of ASD behavior go completely unnoticed.
But another possibility is that an undiagnosed child or their caregiver will feel frustrated by a lack of explanation for certain behavioral events. They may struggle with socialization, for instance, or they may lack commitment to extracurricular activities.
Ignoring the possibility of an autism diagnosis, especially if a child seems mostly neurotypical, can make it more difficult for them to adjust and have their needs met. For this reason, teachers and caregivers who observe subtle signs of ASD should speak with a mental health professional.
A childs parents, teachers, and others with a direct role in their life are the best observers when it comes to picking up on a possible autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Only a licensed mental health professional can come to a full, accurate diagnosis, but you dont have to be a professional to suspect that an ASD diagnosis is possible.
Talks Later Than Most Kids
It’s true that many children with autism are late talkers. Some never learn to talk at all. But if your child develops normally except for not yet using spoken words, autism is not the likely problem.
Speech delays can be the result of many factors. Your child may have hearing problems or other issues that impact the brain, such as aphasia. This can affect the part of the brain that controls language.
The pace at which children develop language skills can also differ. Many of these issues can be treated or even cured.
Meanwhile, there is a good chance that your child’s speech will progress in its own time just fine. But if this issue persists, talking with your child’s healthcare provider can help address these delays in a timely manner.
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Use Your Hand As A Tool
Babies learn to use a variety of gestures from 9-16 months, like giving, reaching, raising arms, showing, waving, and pointing.
Because children with autism may have limited use of these early gestures, they may develop unusual ways to communicate, like using your hand as a tool.
If your baby is moving or pulling your hand or body part as if its a tool, this can be an early sign of autism, particularly if they are not looking at you.
How Does Autism In Children Look Like
Many researches have been conducted to study the changes in behavioral, social and physical characters of an autistic child and how do they distinguish them from other normal children. The attributes of an autistic child vary based on the severity of the condition. But the attributes are clearly visible at certain ages and demand to be diagnosed.
Specific attributes of children that distinguish them from the unaffected children.
If your child suffers from autism, you will witness these noticeable attributes in your child.
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What Are The Early Signs Of Autism In Children
Have you been wondering what are early signs of autism in Children?
One of the things that most parents have in common is that they want their children to be happy and live a healthy life. It’s one of the ways of expressing their love for them.
However, there are a few stumbling blocks on the road to happiness and health. An example is a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder .
Early signs of autism or symptoms can manifest in children as young as five to six years old. So, consider evaluating your child for autism if you’ve noticed any form of developmental difficulties or unusual behaviors.
In this article, we will be exploring everything about early signs of Autism spectrum disorder, but before we continue, what do you understand about autism?
How Is Autism Diagnosed
Doctors diagnose children as autistic by observing them at play and interacting with others.
There are specific developmental milestones that most children reach by the time theyre 4 years old, such as having a conversation or telling a story.
If your 4-year-old has signs of autism, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for a more thorough examination. A specialist will observe your child while they play, learn, and communicate. Theyll also interview you about behaviors youve noticed at home and may request input from your childs teachers or other adults who interact with your child.
While the ideal age to diagnose and treat the symptoms of autism is 3 years old or younger, the sooner your child receives support, the better.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act , all states and Washington, D. C., are required to provide an adequate education to school-age children with developmental issues. Contact your local school district to find out what resources are available for preschool-age children in your area.
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Early Intervention And Other Effective Treatments
It is not easy for parents to learn that their child might have autism. Even if you have concerns about your childs development, its natural to wonder if theyre simply a late bloomer. Its not unusual for concerned parents and caregivers to spend hours searching online to figure out whats happening with their child. It is good to be vigilant, but correctly diagnosing ASD is complicated. It’s crucial to know the warning signs so that you can determine if you should seek a professional opinion from a qualified and experienced diagnostician. If your child is on the spectrum, keep in mind that an official diagnosis is more than a label. It is a gateway to getting your child help, as the diagnosis is often required by various healthcare systems to gain access to treatments and therapies. The AZA United Family Support Team can help you through this process if you have questions.
Autism has been a big topic of research for a long time, but there are still so many areas where scientists dont have answers. We dont exactly know what causes autism or why rates have increased so much over the past two decades. However, we do have a good idea of what helps children make gains and reach their potential. Research has repeatedly shown that early intervention and intensive behavioral therapy can significantly improve long-term outcomes and quality of life for individuals with ASD.
New Symptoms That May Appear During Adolescence
Autistic children can often find adolescence very difficult. Although they have the same hormones as all other teenagers, they dont naturally develop complex relationships and arent able to interpret or engage in the more types of relationships which develop as children get older. They can be prone to isolation and low moods, which can appear very intense and be difficult to read.
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Signs Of Asd Primary School Aged Children
Children are often diagnosed with autism once they get to school, when their social communication and behavioural characteristics mark their development out as different to their peers.
- Issues with conversation, perhaps dominating conversations with their favourite topic and not knowing how to take turns.
- Not being able to interpret the non-verbal communication of peers and adults.
- Unusual speech patterns, a monotonous tone or an old fashioned way of talking.
- Seeking solitude, and finding being with others very stressful and exhausting
- Being rigid in following rules at school and in sport and games
- Finding it hard to read social cues and the unwritten rules of friendship
- Having unusual interests and obsessions, no breadth of interests
- Sometimes there are unusual physical movements, such as touching, biting, rocking or finger flicking
- Having sensory issues, either heightened or lack of sense of smell, touch, taste, sound and vision
- Need to follow routines to feel secure, become very upset when expected routines change
- Having few or no real friends
- Aggression is sometimes seen, usually as a way of avoiding overwhelming situations
- Anxiety is also common, especially as children enter the teenager years
âReally didnât know until it was suggested to us by the school counsellor who recommended we have our child assessed.â
Autism First Signs: A Checklist For Boys
It is generally accepted that the rate at which boys in Australia are diagnosed with autism is higher than in girls. There is thought to be a 4-3:1 ratio of males diagnosed as being on the spectrum compared to females, although most researchers also accept that this is not like to be a true reflection of the prevalence of autism in the country.
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Common Signs Of Asd In Preschoolers
With some children, the signs of autism might not become entirely obvious until they reach preschool , when suddenly the developmental gap between them and their peers becomes more pronounced.In addition to the signs for babies/toddlers, here are some of the more common ways ASD might present itself in a preschool-aged child.
Social communication red flags
- The child generally does not point to or share observations or experiences with others
- The child tends not to look directly at other people in a social way. This is sometimes referred to as a lack of eye contact
- There may be an absence of speech, or unusual speech patterns such as repeating words and phrases , failure to use âIâ, âmeâ, and âyouâ, or reversal of these pronouns
- Unusual responses to other people. A child may show no desire to be cuddled, have a strong preference for familiar people and may appear to treat people as objects rather than a source of comfort
- The child may appear to avoid social situations, preferring to be alone
- There is limited development of play activities, particularly imaginative play
- There may be constant crying or there may be an unusual absence of crying
Behavioural red flags
âShe was so distant from us we found it hard to engage her. We would have to say her name at least six times before she would acknowledge us, often staring into space as if in a trance. We put this down to a hearing problem but test results showed otherwise.â