Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the brain’s ability to communicate and process information. It can be challenging for both children with autism and their parents to determine when they need professional help, but it may be time to speak with a specialist if you notice any of these five signs in your child.
Signs include repetitive behaviors, lack of eye contact, avoiding physical contact or social interaction, not playing pretend games or using imaginative language, and emotional outbursts.
Signs and Symptoms of Autism
There are some signs and symptoms of autism that you should look out for. If your child shows several of these signs, then there’s a chance that they may have autism:
- Not pointing and showing interest in objects (between 8 and 18 months)
- Preferring play alone rather than with other children (between 9 and 16 months)
- Showing unusual responses to people, such as lack of eye contact, avoiding physical contact, or social interaction (between 12 and 24 months).
- Lagging in expressive speech, body language, social play, or imagination (between 15 and 24 months).
- Not initiating or responding to social interactions.
- Regressing developmentally by losing skills they once had, such as saying words or using gestures.
- Having repetitive behaviors, including rocking back and forth, hand flapping, and twirling objects (between 18 and 30 months).
- Not responding to their name or showing a lack of awareness of other people (over 4 years old).
- Having an unusual interest in objects such as lining up toys, spinning wheels or handles, and putting cords into sockets.
- Avoiding eye contact, not smiling when smiled at, and not showing other facial expressions or emotions.
If your child displays any of these signs or symptoms, you must speak with a doctor or specialist as soon as possible. With the right treatment and support, people with autism can live happy and fulfilling lives.
When should you Call for Help?
One of the best things you can do to support your child with autism is to sign them up for therapy. This can be ABA therapy, applied behavior analysis that uses rewards and consequences to help the child learn social skills. Therapy through play is also very beneficial as it will enable children with autism to develop new skills and become more independent.
It is essential to keep in mind that if a child has autism, it doesn’t hold them back. On the contrary, with the proper care and support from you, they can grow up to be happy and confident kids who can succeed in life.
Here are some situations where you should contact a doctor or healthcare professional:
- If your child has extreme reactions to sensory input or shows signs of sensory sensitivities.
- If your child has little or no interest in playing with other children or cannot appropriately interact with them.
- If your child shows signs of self-injury such as biting themselves, head-banging, etc.
- If your child does not make eye contact when you’re speaking to them and appears to be unaware of others.
- If your child does not understand personal space and may even prefer extra closeness all the time.
- If you have noticed that your child can’t do things that other children their age is capable of doing
If you feel you have already noticed some of the above signs, it’s essential to get help. Although autism can’t be cured, plenty of services and treatments are available to ensure your child has the best life possible with autism.
To avoid the life-long effects of autism, it is vital to get help as soon as possible. If you have a child with signs and symptoms of ASD, please seek professional help so we can provide an evaluation for your family.
Most of these professionals offer services such as speech therapy to support children who are not yet diagnosed but suspected based on their behaviors or developmental milestones that may be delayed. In addition, these professionals are trained in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which will teach skills like socialization and communication through play-based activities and repetition exercises designed by our experienced therapists.