3 Signs of Autism in Children to Look Out for As a Parent
Statistics show that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more prevalent than previously thought. As a lifelong developmental disability that affects behavior, cognition, and emotions, autism manifests itself from a very early age. Although diagnosing ASD is not easy, doctors can tell if a child is autistic by studying their development history and using various diagnostic tools. Some children show signs of autism by 18 months, so it is the parents’ job to identify the first warning signs.
Here are three signs of autism in children to look out for as a parent.
Unusual Social Behavior
Autistic children struggle to navigate social situations because they have difficulties understanding their feelings or reading other’s people emotions. An autistic child prefers playing alone, does not respond to their name, avoids eye contact with other children, and shows no interest in interacting or socializing with others. Anti-social behavioral preferences often indicate autism.
It can be helpful to monitor your child’s behavior and encourage social interactions. However, it’s important to know that some children have solitary tendencies without being on the spectrum. Only a doctor can tell if your child’s social behavior is normal for their stage of growth and development. Visit actionbehavior.com to learn more about reliable diagnostic tools for autism and treatment paths.
Repetitive or Restrictive Behaviors
When they feel anxious, fearful, or confused, autistic children exhibit repetitive or restrictive behaviors. Rocking back and forth, shaking their heads, and spinning are examples of repetitive behaviors that autistic children perform obsessively as they try to regain calm and comfort. Autistic children also strongly prefer routine, predictability, and structure. They perceive any small change as frustrating.
Is your child exhibiting obsessive preferences for certain activities or ways of doing things? An autistic child would probably play with the same toys the same way every time, for example.
Exaggerated Reactions to Various Stimuli
A major symptom of autism is sensory sensitivity. A child on the spectrum can be extremely sensitive to external stimuli such as loud noises, touch, and harsh lights. Children with autism cannot take their attention away from the factors that disturb them, so they get overwhelmed and react in ways that parents or guardians consider exaggerated. Once the stimuli are removed from their environment, the children regain their calm, but this can take a while. Hypersensitivity also affects balance and coordination.
Sensory overload causes autistic children to become moody and react aggressively. Impulsivity, temper tantrums, aggression, restlessness, and unusual reactions to sounds or sights could be signs of autism.When it comes to autism, early diagnosis and treatment are critical. However, as a parent, it can be difficult to tell if your child’s behavior is normal or not. No one expects all children of the same age to behave similarly. Personality plays a huge role in how a child perceives and interacts with the world around them. However, some behavioral patterns indicate something may not be quite right. If you have any suspicions or concerns, consider contacting a physician.