One of every parent’s biggest fears is having a sick child. When it comes to autism, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it’s important to know the signs. As a parent, it’s always a good idea to check the progress of your child with every passing day.
More so, since autism can look different and display a variety of symptoms, knowing what to look for is essential. Signs of autism can show as young as a few months old. Conversely, other signs and symptoms can take years to develop.
Basic Facts About Autism You Should Know
While it may be true, most mothers spend their pregnancies worrying about eating the right food and take supplements. Even still, you can never know when the signs of autism may appear.
Of course, if you see any signs of autism, you will immediately bring your child to a professional for a proper evaluation. These signs can range from repetitive body movements to all types of repeated behaviors. For example, symptoms like moving fingers vigorously, clicking fingers, and moving their arms.
Obviously, these movements alone are not clear indicators of autism as well. Movements like these can also trigger from excitement, fidgeting, or nervousness as well. That’s why it’s essential to bring your child to a professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis. With that said, you will want to pay close attention to your child’s development. This way you can know when to seek medical intervention.
According to the WHO, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a group of developmental diseases that affect 1 in every 160 children worldwide. Given this considerable rate, it’s only reasonable that you would want to learn everything about this disease and how to deal with it.
Although so far, there is no treatment for ASD, early detection is still essential to best manage your child’s condition. Below, you will find some signs that your child may have autism.
Typically, there are several symptoms that your autistic child might exhibit. To make this more comfortable for you to grasp, we will divide them into three main categories:
Children who have autism can face several social challenges throughout their lives. Some of these signs that you should keep in mind are:
Between 4 and 7 months of age, your baby’s personality should start to unravel. As your baby grows older, their level of awareness will follow. By 12 months at the latest, they will be able to track your voice and look over when someone calls their name.
However, it’s essential to rule out an auditory problem at first before you jump to any conclusions. There are many levels of autism, but in general, autistic children usually show signs of inattentiveness.
Moreover, they seem uninterested in what is going on around them. Children can also display an impairment of their ability to follow up at school with their lessons or their teacher’s directions.
Trouble Building Relationships
If your child has autism, you will notice that they can have a hard time at school compared to their peers. They are less likely to have friends and connect with other children.
There is a vast difference between a shy child and one with autism. It’s best not to ignore this issue without investigating to understand why your child isn’t engaging with their schoolmates.
Refusing Physical Contact
Typically, children like their parents to hold and cuddle them. However, the same doesn’t hold for children with autism. If your child avoids your embraces and seems irritated when a close family member attempts to hold them, this can indicate signs of autism.
Flexibility Issues In Autism
Autism provokes certain rigid behaviors in children that makes them unable to show flexibility. There are a couple of signs that can help you tell if there are issues of inflexibility. It’s often hard for children with autism to adapt to any change, be it in their daily routines or to their surrounding physical environment. Here are some signs:
Although it’s unclear why autistic children excessively repeat specific actions, it’s one of the common signs. Activities like hand flapping and body rocking known as stimming behavior is one of the typical symptoms of autism.
However, before you try to look up ways to control or stop stimming, you should know that it’s not always a bad thing. Some recent studies have shown that stimming is more of a soothing behavior that can help your child in situations where they feel overstimulated.
Attachment to Random Objects
It’s not uncommon for children to attache to blankets or other toys.
However, it would help if you were concerned when your child insists on holding a specific key or a piece of paper and refuses to let go. You might even notice that if you try to force it out of their hands, they will throw a fit and become inconsolable until you give it back.
Moving in Patterns
Much like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), children with autism can become adamant about moving in specific patterns. This displays as insisting on walking on the black tiles but not the white ones. And it is an alarming sign if your child is not doing it playfully.
If you aren’t able to spot the above behavioral signs, speech problems should seem more straightforward for you. Especially, if like many children with autism experiences a delay in speech. Here are the most common ones:
Speaking in Odd Rhythms
Autistic children usually speak in a distinctive tone that sounds unnatural. They’d use odd pauses mid-sentence and stress on parts of words randomly. You will also notice a clear devoid of feelings in your child’s speech if they have autism.
Unusual Voice Tone
Whether too loud or too quiet, both can indicate autism. This inability to interpret the significance of volume in speech can also explain why your child does not respond to your disciplinary screams.
As your child grows older, autism might be the reason why they are still making simple grammatical and structural language mistakes. Also, it’s often hard for children with autism to use versatile vocabulary.
Repeating questions can seem like a visible speech-related signs of autism. When asking your child if they want to eat, they might keep on repeating the same question instead of giving you an answer.
Trouble Communicating Needs
Because they don’t know how to communicate efficiently, it’s usually hard for someone with autism to put their needs and desires into words. If you experience many accidents with your child because they didn’t tell you they needed to use the bathroom, you should consider it a red flag.
Although challenging, you should know if your child receives a diagnosis with autism you can make a huge difference in their lives. Each day will come with a new challenge, so you should prepare and try to remain positive.
As we discussed at the beginning of this article, early diagnosis can make a massive difference in the kind of life your child ends up having. If any of the above signs seem familiar, share your concerns with your child’s teachers at school so that they can help you find out whether or not there is a reason to worry. Most importantly, trust your gut and don’t adopt a “wait and see” approach.
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At some point in our lives, we will assume the role of caregiver to a loved one in our lives. You can be a loving caregiver and still practice the self-care you deserve.