It can be hard to detect the signs and symptoms of autism in your child if you don’t know what to look for. Many of these signs and symptoms can be seen before your child reaches the age of three years old. They include difficulties in social interactions, responsiveness, communication, and sometimes they have repetitive behavior.
Unfortunately, the appearance of autism can differ from each person in terms of the signs and symptoms and their severity. One individual with autism can be intellectually challenged, self-absorbed, and non-verbal while another can be engaged, bright, and very verbal. This article discusses some of the key signs of autism in children.
The Common Signs And Symptoms Of Autism
Various symptoms are usually seen in children with autism. However, you should remember that some of these symptoms on their own cannot indicate that your child has autism. After all, autism is considered to be a pervasive development disorder, meaning that your child needs to have several of these symptoms to qualify for an autism diagnosis.
Likewise, many children may reach early milestones early or on time and still go for an autism diagnosis. On the other hand, some children can appear to develop normally for a while but then develop the autism signs and symptoms while others can have obvious symptoms from infancy.
So some of these early signs and symptoms of autism can include your child not saying any single words by 16 months or even two-word phrases by age 2. they may not babble or point by age of 1 and don’t respond to their name. Also, your child may have poor eye contact and don’t smile or lack social responsiveness. Others are unusual over responsiveness or under-responsiveness to some sensory input like smell, touch, noise, and taste.
When you see these signs and symptoms in your child before they reach the age of 3, then they need to have an autism diagnosis. However, some children can have mild symptoms that are not apparent at a very young age, so you can still take them for an autism diagnosis after the age of 3.
These children who may not show these signs and symptoms at an early age is that they may have these indicators at a later stage. These include impairment or absence of social and imaginative play, inability to make friends with their peers, restricted patterns of interest, repetitive, stereotyped, or unusual use of language, preoccupation with specific subjects or objects, and inflexible adherence to certain routines.
Hence, if you see these symptoms in your child who is older than 3 years old, and these symptoms were not there from their earlier age, perhaps you need to take your child for an autism diagnosis. Likely, your child may receive a different psychiatric or developmental diagnosis.
That said, you need to know that children with autism can sometimes have rare symptoms. They can experience seizures, extraordinary abilities in a specific area like sciences in what is known as savant syndrome. Others can have intellectual disability, hyperlexia which is an early ability to decode some words, though they don’t understand them, and associate ideas or words with colors, sounds, tastes, and many others.
Signs And Symptoms In Boys And Girls
Many people who are diagnosed with autism happen to be boys. This may be because the signs and symptoms of autism tend to appear different in girls, so it’s usually not recognized.
In most cases, boys who have autism can show clear symptoms like stimming, meaning pacing, rocking, and flicking fingers. They can also be pretty loud, become angry when asked to take part in some activities that they are not comfortable with, or get easily upset. All these behaviors can naturally draw your attention.
But girls with autism tend to be more quiet and withdrawn. These girls are usually loners and choose not to take part in group activities. Unfortunately, many people accept the belief that girls are usually quiet and unengaged, so such behaviors can be mistaken for normal social behavior or shyness. It’s important to remember that there can be huge differences in these signs and symptoms depending on a child. You can also click to learn what the signs of autism are.
When You Need To See Your Doctor
Many of the signs and symptoms of autism are usually associated with other conditions. This means they can be symptoms of other mental health and developmental issues. This is the reason why children who have autism can have multiple diagnoses.
Besides, children with autism can have other problems, such as sleep disorders, self-abusive behavior, gastrointestinal disorders, and many others. As you can see, it can be quite hard for you to determine whether the behavior of your child are the signs and symptoms of autism or just normal variations in development.
Now you may be wondering when is the right time to see your doctor for a diagnosis. Well, there is a good chance that your child’s behavior or developmental differences are due to non-autism related issues. For instance, your child may not respond to their name because they have hearing problems. In the same way, your child can experience lateness in talking because they have apraxia of speech or aphasia.
So the health professionals need to properly diagnose if your child has autism or not. Thankfully, health professionals utilize specific tests to exactly measure your child’s symptoms. It also means that your child may need to undergo a hearing impairment or speech problem that may not be related to autism.
Hence, if you have concerns about your child, it’s a good idea to see your pediatrician. But if your pediatrician cannot help you, then consider consulting a developmental pediatrician.
Children with autism can have many challenges, but they may also have their strengths and positive attributes. If you suspect your child or loved one has autism, diagnosis is the best way to go. This can help them get access to treatments and services that may help them overcome their challenges and live the lives that they deserve.
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