Autism is not a disability; it’s a different ability.
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects one’s ability to think, feel, socially interact with others, and experience one environment. The CDC estimates that one in 59 children have autism, with the disorder 4 times more likely to occur in boys than in girls.
The first signs of autism usually appear in childhood when the child is between 2-3 years old. But this differs from child to child and may occur earlier or later. Detecting autism at its early stage is vital to reducing its symptoms and improving the quality of life of an autistic child and their families.
Obviously, only medical experts can make the correct diagnosis and treatment of autism, but you can avoid anything that seems inappropriate, and then notify your child’s pediatrician if necessary.
In this article, we will share with you 7 signs that your baby may have autism. Be sure to check it! As always, if you have any questions about autism or your child’s overall development, please consult his doctor.
7. Trouble Maintaining Eye Contact
Kids find it natural to interact with other people without much external effort or encouragement from their parents. As they develop, they become more aware of what’s happening in their surroundings, recognize faces, and listening to what people say and do.
However, a kid with autism usually has more difficulty interacting with adults; they will rarely make eye contact, such as when you feed or smile at them. They won’t respond to their name or the voice of a familiar person. The National Institute of Mental Health explains that these are common traits in children with autism as they may have “a tendency to look at and listen to other people less often.”
You must have your child evaluated as the soonest, even if you are unsure of these signs. It’s better safe than sorry, and the earlier, the better!
6. Avoid Attempts at Social Interaction
Toddlers and young children will without fuss play with other kids of their age or even older people, as long as they are in the right environment – may be in school, on the playground, or any fun social events – and in the right mood – not feeling cranky or sleepy.
Some kids may not be as social as their age-peers, which is perfectly normal; all they need is to build their social skills. But if the child shows no interest in playing or interacting with other children, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying issue. Parents may tend to see this as a personality problem, which is possible as there are kids who prefer their own company to others. But having not even the littlest interest in interacting with other people should be considered a sign of autism.
Most parents are quick to notice the early signs of autism and begin treatment before their child starts developing this symptom. If you had taken the previous symptoms as nothing, then you may only catch on to this after the child is slightly older, when the condition becomes more evident.
5. No Babbling or “Baby talk.”
One of the signs in a child’s language development stage is babbling. This is when a baby starts learning how to talk by using repeated syllables or vowel-like sounds like “bababa,” popularly termed “baby talk.” This usually occurs when the baby is between 6 and 9 months old. However, babies who show no sign of babbling around that age mark may have autism.
Speech is key to learning, and not reaching or missing that early verbal milestone of language development can have a huge negative impact on a child’s cognitive development.
If the baby is yet to make any sound – coo, whine, or babble – by the six-month mark, you have to definitely bring up the problem at their next medical appointment, as this is often a sign that something is wrong.
While making no kind of sounds can signify that the baby is mute, which is usually noticed the six-month mark. Making no sound aside from the occasional cries for food could mean something entirely different. Every parent who detects this sign should immediately have their child evaluated to not fall behind their age-peers in the language development stages, and when schooling starts.
4. Does Not Point or Gesture (To show interest such as waving hello or goodbye)
Pointing is another milestone in language development. A baby sometimes points as a way of sharing and interacting or make other gestures such as waving to show interest or communicate words like hello and goodbye. A child that does not point or gesture or show any interest in things pointed out to them may be displaying an early sign of autism spectrum dysfunction. However, these symptoms are sometimes not the same in each child.
There are cases of parents misinterpreting these symptoms as laziness and see no cause of alarm. While this may be true, you can never be too sure as it can also be a sign of autism. To avoid treating the condition at a later stage when the complications have increased, the child has fallen behind other kids. You should get the child the appropriate help as soon as you notice these signs. Don’t hesitate to reach out for medical support when you have concerns about how your child measures up with their mates.
Catching and beginning treatment for autism at the early stage can be of great benefit for both the child and you, as young brains have remarkable plasticity. With early intensive treatment, the brain can be rewired, and the effects reduced.
3. Struggles to Communicate
Children with autism spectrum dysfunction usually find it hard to communicate using words, facial expressions, and gestures. While some might be slower to develop communication skills. Others find it extremely hard to understand or use various communication kinds.
Compared to other kids, they are less likely to call out for assistance if they experience any difficulty with something.
An autistic child is less inclined to play with others or share interests and enjoyment. If you notice these signs or find your kid avoiding social interactions with you or other people, the best thing to do is to consult with your pediatrician.
2. Repeating the Same Actions or Behaviors (Known As “Stimming”)
Stimming includes actions such as obsessively lining things (sometimes toys) up in a particular order. Even when not intending to play with them, hand flapping, repeating the same words or phrases over and over, or spinning in a circle.
1. Difficulties in Socializing (Not engaging or communicating with other children)
Children with autism usually don’t show interest in other children or engage them, and they may not know how to. They will choose to handle things by their selves other than seeking assistance from others or an adult.
While most kids with autism will show these symptoms during their early childhood, some may only express one of them. Suppose you detect any of the above signs in your child. Experts recommend that experts immediately seek out a diagnosis by your neurologist, pediatrician, or psychologist. This will enable your child to receive the necessary care and support they need to learn, grow, and live a comfortable and successful life.