Development and behavior are used in diagnosing autism. Where a patient lands on what is called “the spectrum” depends on the severity of the disorder. Autism is often diagnosed at a young age but may go undiagnosed well into adulthood. In this article, we’ll look at the most common signs your child may be autistic.
Signs in Young Children
Parents usually notice these symptoms early on, even in infants. When there is a concern, have your child tested with their doctor. Here’s a list of common signs.
Little To No Eye Contact
When talking with young children, even infants, it’s easy to catch their eyes. When a young child has autism, they may not make eye contact easily.
When you smile at your little one, it’s natural to expect a smile back. With autism spectrum disorder, they may not make that smiling connection.
Repeating the same movement over and over is a common symptom of autism. A parent may notice that their child’s arms are constantly flapping or their body rocks back and forth for long periods of time. Gross and fine motor skills are hard to control with autism, but there are physical therapies that can help develop these skills.
A child with autism may have an intense reaction to things they find unpleasant, especially odors, tastes, and sounds. Something that others simply dislike may be magnified for someone with autism.
No Response To Their Name
When a child reaches an age in which a parent would expect a response when their name is spoken, but the child has no response, it’s often a sign of autism spectrum disorder.
Signs in Older Children
If none of the signs were noticed as an infant or toddler, a parent or doctor may start to see signs of autism in an older child. These are some common signs your child may be autistic at an older age.
The child has a difficult time expressing their feelings and is unaware of other’s feelings. A child with autism may appear as if they don’t care for others, but the reality is that they simply don’t make the connection to realize what someone else is feeling.
A child with autism prefers a rigid routine because it helps them know what to expect. This becomes more noticeable in an older child. When a routine changes, it may be very upsetting to them.
Older children with autism may experience a very intense interest in a certain subject or hobby. They become extremely focused on it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it leads to creativity and education, but it is a sign that is often used when diagnosing.
In some cases, an autistic child may take everything literally. For example, we may tell someone to go fly a kite while joking around. The autistic child may ask where the kite is so they can really go fly it. We say many things without meaning them literally, and these phrases may be taken literally when a child has autism.
Although there is no cure for autism, there are support services to help a child and family live a happy life with the disorder. Speak with your family doctor about any concerns or questions about autism spectrum disorder.