My Child Has Signs Of Autismnow What
If your child has signs of autism, Dr. Frazier advises scheduling a visit to your pediatrician right away. You’ll discuss developmental concerns, and the doctor will evaluate your baby for autism. “We have evidence that suggests the quicker you can get a diagnosis, the earlier you can enroll in developmental and behavioral interventions,” says Dr. Frazier.
Early intervention is meant to help any child with autism develop to their own full potential. The brain can respond to treatments more effectively at younger ages, which can make interventions more effective. As your child gets older, those interventions might include speech therapy, occupational therapy, mental health counseling, and whatever else experts believe will help your child thrive. The ultimate goal is “making the symptoms more manageable and enhancing life as much as possible,” says Dr. Silverman.
What Are The Early Signs Of Autism
Early signs of autism include avoiding eye contact, not showing interest in other children or parents, talking less than other children, and feeling distressed by small changes to the daily routine, according to the CDC.
It can also be valuable to monitor whether a child is reaching developmental milestones. But its important to keep in mind that autism presents differently in different children. Some may not reach those milestones, while about a quarter may pass each milestone but regress later.
Autism Signs By 12 Months
- They don’t say single words.
- They don’t use gestures such as waving or shaking their head.
- They don’t point to objects or pictures.
- They can’t stand when supported.
It’s important to note that these criteria aren’t conclusive evidence of autism. “They’re simply things we look for to determine if we need to further assess the baby,” says Mandi Silverman, Psy.D., senior director of the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute. Another social or developmental factor may be at play.
Read Also: How To Discipline An Autistic Teenager
What Disorders Are Related To Asd
Certain known genetic disorders are associated with an increased risk for autism, including Fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis each of which results from a mutation in a single, but different, gene. Recently, researchers have discovered other genetic mutations in children diagnosed with autism, including some that have not yet been designated as named syndromes. While each of these disorders is rare, in aggregate, they may account for 20 percent or more of all autism cases.
People with ASD also have a higher than average risk of having epilepsy. Children whose language skills regress early in life before age 3 appear to have a risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. About 20 to 30 percent of children with ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. Additionally, people with both ASD and intellectual disability have the greatest risk of developing seizure disorder.
Individuals With Asd May Present Withsome Of The Following Exceptional Characteristics:
- Non-verbal reasoning
- Exceptional skills in creative and imaginative expression
- Visuospatial ability
The above exceptional skills may be combined with subtle characteristics in other areas of development. All individuals with the diagnosis demonstrate some of the following:
Lack of awareness
Autism is characterized by an impaired ability to engage in social relationships and can result in serious deficits in the ability to make friendships. In fact, children on the autism spectrum often behave as if other people do not exist. This is demonstrated in various ways, including failure to respond to their names when called, appearing not to listen when spoken to, an inability to display appropriate facial expressions, avoidance of eye contact, a failure to respond to affection and sometimes treating people as if they were inanimate objects. Often children will acknowledge an adult only for the purpose of getting a need gratified and will return to ignoring the adult thereafter.
If a child with autism possesses any social skills, they are characteristically rote and awkward in nature. Individuals with autism also experience problems maintaining reciprocal relationships. Additional difficulties center around an inability to take on anothers perspective , feelings and emotions, or provide or seek comfort, in conventional ways.
Unusual seeking of comfort when stressedUnusual toy play
Some of the more common signs that may indicate a person has autism include:
Don’t Miss: How Long Has Autism Been Around
Early Signs Of Autism In Children
Early diagnosis means early intervention. It helps provide your child a higher quality of life through teaching life skills with therapies and games.
There are certain signs to look out for while your child is growing up. They hit developmental milestones, indicating that their social, communicative and behavioral developments are on track.
Here are some of the early signs that your child may need to be further examined and tested by your physician.
Speech And Language Difficulties May Present As Early Signs Of Autism
Children with ASD may have a hard time speaking and communicating at the expected level for their age.
Even during infancy, you might notice that your child does not babble or coo in response when you talk and attempt to interact. By their first birthday, most toddlers can speak a word or two, but autism symptoms in children often include delayed speech.
Sometimes, children with ASD babble and coo in the first few months of life, and then cease to communicate altogether. In these cases, all forms of verbal communication and normal language development and experimentation with speech abruptly stop. This can be disconcerting for parents and is often a sign of autism in young children and an indicator that its time to investigate further by seeking professional help.
Even in cases where autistic children do speak and demonstrate pretty typical signs of normal language development, they often repeat unrelated words and phrases over and over and, in essence, speaking without really communicating or conveying a feeling, thought or desire.
Early intervention is key to helping autistic children learn to communicate, whether it is through spoken language, or in more extreme cases, through sign language or even an alternative augmentative communication device.
Recommended Reading: Is There A Test For Autism
How To Notice Early Signs Of Autism
Autism spectrum disorder typically appears during the early years of life. Early assessment and intervention are crucial to a childs long-term success. Early warning signs include: no social smiling by 6 months. no one-word communications by 16 months. no two-word phrases by 24 months. no babbling, pointing, or meaningful gestures by 12 months.
Dont Miss: Aspergers Life Expectancy
Can Autism Symptoms Dissipate With Age
Since early signs of autism are often behavioral and language delays, it is difficult to make a definite diagnosis much before 18 months or even 2 years of age.
For many children, symptoms do not even present until they are between the ages of 2 and 3. What can appear to be early signs of autism in babies can often fade in the first few years of life.
For example, babies who appear to be behind in language skills and behaviorally can often catch up with their peers by the time they turn 2. Children all develop at somewhat different rates, so they might not fit perfectly into the developmental timeline.
Because of this, some medical professionals hesitate to definitively diagnose autism prior to age 2. Most doctors wait for these symptoms to be considered more stable before making an official diagnosis. Per the CDC, an autism diagnosis can be considered reliable by age 2.
Significant delays and disability related to ASD are less likely to decline in a few years. As a result, doctors consider the severity of the symptoms when making a diagnosis.
All suspected autism symptoms should be monitored closely, even if they seem minor.
Recommended Reading: What Does Aba Mean Autism
Restricted Or Repetitive Behaviors Or Interests
People with ASD have behaviors or interests that can seem unusual. These behaviors or interests set ASD apart from conditions defined by problems with social communication and interaction only.
Examples of restricted or repetitive behaviors and interests related to ASD can include
- Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed
- Repeats words or phrases over and over
- Plays with toys the same way every time
- Is focused on parts of objects
- Gets upset by minor changes
- Has obsessive interests
- Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
- Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
Autism In Young Children
Signs of autism in young children include:
- not responding to their name
- avoiding eye contact
- not smiling when you smile at them
- getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell or sound
- repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, flicking their fingers or rocking their body
- not talking as much as other children
- repeating the same phrases
Signs of autism in older children include:
- not seeming to understand what others are thinking or feeling
- finding it hard to say how they feel
- liking a strict daily routine and getting very upset if it changes
- having a very keen interest in certain subjects or activities
- getting very upset if you ask them to do something
- finding it hard to make friends or preferring to be on their own
- taking things very literally for example, they may not understand phrases like “break a leg”
Recommended Reading: How To Play With Autistic Child
Signs Of Nonverbal Communication Difficulties
- Avoids eye contact.
- Uses facial expressions that dont match what they are saying
- Doesnt pick up on other peoples facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures.
- Makes very few gestures . May come across as cold or robot-like.
- Reacts unusually to sights, smells, textures, and sounds. May be especially sensitive to loud noises. Can also be unresponsive to people entering/leaving, as well as efforts by others to attract the childs attention.
- Atypical posture, clumsiness, or eccentric ways of moving .
Children with autism spectrum disorder have trouble picking up on subtle nonverbal cues and using body language. This makes the give-and-take of social interaction very difficult.
The Core Symptoms Of Autism Are:
social communication challengesand
- begin in early childhood
- interfere with daily living.
Specialized healthcare providers diagnose autism using a checklist of criteria in the two categories above. They also assess autism symptom severity. Autisms severity scale reflects how much support a person needs for daily function.
Many people with autism have sensory issues. These typically involve over- or under-sensitivities to sounds, lights, touch, tastes, smells, pain and other stimuli.
Autism is also associated with high rates of certain physical and mental health conditions.
You May Like: Is My 2 Year Old Autistic Uk
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
In autistic girls, differences from typical autism symptoms may include:
There are also higher rates of anxiety, depression and eating disorders among girls with autism spectrum disorder than among boys.
Early Signs Of Autism In Babies May Include:
- Reacting in an unexpected way to new faces
- Rarely smiling in social situations
- Making little or no eye contact
- Difficulty in following objects with their eyes
- Hearing their name does not produce a response
- Having limited or no reaction to loud sounds, or not turning their head to locate sounds
- Overreacting to some sounds
- Displaying a lack of interest in interactive games, like peek-a-boo
- Chattering, or imitating sounds and words is limited
- Gestures like pointing at an object they want or waving back at others are limited
- Tendency not to imitate the actions of other people
- Dislike of being touched or cuddled, or not reaching out when about to be picked up, or
- Displaying unusual or repetitive body movements.
Don’t Miss: How Do Autistic People Think
Early Signs Of Autism In Boys
Autism is seen more prevalently in boys than in girls. Therefore, the core symptoms mostly coincide with the symptoms we have mentioned to be seen in children with autism in all ages.
Here are some of the early symptoms in autistic boys:
- Doesnt make eye contact
- Has repetitive behaviors
- Doesnt like physical contact
Little Or No Imitatin Other People Of Pretending
They use a variety of functional actions like putting a sippy cup in their mouth to drink and a spoon in their mouth to eat.
From this, they learn to pretend in play they may offer you a sip with a cup or bottle, give Teddy bear a hug and cover him with a blanket or jiggle a pan with invisible stuff inside to pretend to cook.
Children with autism usually have strengths in using objects in solitary play.
If your child is showing little or no imitating of others, and is not beginning to pretend in play, it can be an early sign of autism.
What Are The Signs Of Autism
The autism diagnosis age and intensity of autisms early signs vary widely. Some infants show hints in their first months. In others, behaviors become obvious as late as age 2 or 3.
Not all children with autism show all the signs. Many children who dont have autism show a few. Thats why professional evaluation is crucial.
The following may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, ask your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation right away:
Early Signs Of Autism In Adults
Autism spectrum disorder occurs in all age groups. It is generally characterized by social and communication difficulties.
Severe forms are usually diagnosed in the first two years of a childs life. However, high-functioning individuals may not be diagnosed until later in their lives.
Here are some of the symptoms in autistic adults:
- Difficulty in regulating emotion
You May Like: Will My Non Verbal Autistic Child Ever Speak
Don’t Be Afraid Learn The 16 Early Signs Of Autism
“It’s going to be a problem eventually that you will have to deal with. Don’t be afraind. Don’t let that stop you from helping your child.” Jacobi’s mom
Go to BabyNavigator.com to find tools and resources on what every parents needs to know about early learning. Because, what you do and say can make all the difference.
Symptoms Of Autism In Children
The core symptoms of autism are social communication challenges and restricted, repetitive behaviors. Specialized healthcare providers diagnose autism using a checklist of criteria in the two categories above. They also assess autism symptom severity. Autisms severity scale reflects how much support a person needs for daily function.
Many people with autism have sensory issues. These typically involve over- or under-sensitivities to sounds, lights, touch, tastes, smells, pain and other stimuli.
Autism is also associated with high rates of certain physical and mental health conditions
Symptoms of autism may:
Early Signs Of Autism In Babies Aged 0
Shortly after they are born, babies begin to smile and coo at people around them. By the time they turn 2 months old, they are able to pay attention to faces.
If the child has autism spectrum disorder, this may not be the case. If a child doesnt smile, or smile as big, and is not showing any warm expression, it may be a sign of autism spectrum disorder.
The following signs can also be seen by the time the baby turns 3 months old:
- Doesnt respond to loud noises,
- Doesnt grasp objects,
Recommended Reading: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism
What Do I Do If My Child Shows Symptoms Of Autism
If you are concerned your child has autism, you should make an appointment with your pediatrician. Autism is diagnosed through watching your childs behavior. Your pediatrician can identify signs that may mean your child has autism and refer you to a pediatric neurologist who specializes in autism.
Your pediatrician may also identify signs of autism during a well-baby check. Dr. Evans encourages parents to never miss a well-baby check, which can be critical to keeping an eye on your babys health, growth and development.
Also Check: How To Interact With Autistic Child
Communication And Social Symptoms
Pragmatic Language Most individuals on the autism spectrum have difficulty communicating with other people. This often becomes apparent during early childhood. Any delays in speech development and nonverbal communication should be evaluated by a qualified specialist.
Eye Contact and Nonverbal Communication Poor and avoidance of eye contact are common symptoms among those with autism. Other non-verbal communication difficulties may include recognizing and using facial expressions, physical gestures, and overall body language.
Tone of Voice Some people with autism may have difficulty regulating or modulating their tone of voice. As a result, they may speak too loudly, too quietly, and/or with a monotone voice.
Screening And Diagnosis Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder can be difficult because there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorder. Doctors look at the childs developmental history and behavior to make a diagnosis.
ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months of age or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered reliable . However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adolescents or adults. This delay means that people with ASD might not get the early help they need.
Diagnosing children with ASD as early as possible is important to make sure children receive the services and supports they need to reach their full potential . There are several steps in this process.
Recommended Reading: Where To Get Autism Screening