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Warning Signs: How To Spot the Early Symptoms of Autism

Thanks to the wonderful world of genetics, no two children are exactly alike. Even identical twins, with the same genetic structure, have differing personalities.

So when your child begins to display behavior different from their peers, how do you know if their behavior is just a part of their personality or something more? Many parents wonder if their child has autism when they begin to behave differently from their peers.

The trained eye can see early symptoms of autism in children as young as a few months old. Keep reading to learn about autism symptoms.

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How Early is Early?

Thanks to all of the research done by scientists, trained professionals can detect and diagnose autism in children even younger than 18 months old. Early signs of autism mimic other developmental disabilities. Thus, if you suspect an autism diagnosis, take your child to their pediatrician for a thorough evaluation.

The symptoms and signs of autism vary in children according to their age. The signs will also vary depending on how autism affects the child’s life.

Sometimes children will meet major milestones on time but then regress. For example, if your child does not demonstrate signs of autism at age one, they may demonstrate these signs at age three. This regression occurs as children have more opportunities for communication in society.

Early Symptoms of Autism

Early signs of autism can vary. Thus recognizing autism and then treating autism takes a skilled eye, like what the professionals have at places such as CV Lighthouse. Such organizations specialize in spotting autism and putting together a therapy plan.

Autism first shows itself through social communication and social interaction. Basic communication is compromised by autism. Here are a few signs:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Not maintaining eye contact
  • Not responding to their name by nine months old
  • Fails to show facial expressions by ninths months old
  • Won’t play simple interactive games
  • Fails to use gestures effectively by age 1
  • Won’t share interests with others by 15 months old
  • Won’t point or respond to your pointing by age 18 months old
  • Fails to notice if others are sad or hurt by 24 months old
  • Will not play pretend
  • Fails to understand other people’s feelings by age 36 months
  • Refuses to play games that require taking turns by age 5

Autism also reveals itself through repetitive or restrictive behaviors and interests. Here are a few concrete examples:

  • Becomes upset when people rearrange their ordered or lined-up toys or objects
  • Plays with toys the same way repeatedly
  • Fixates on one part of an object rather than the whole
  • Obsesses over specific interests
  • Does not deviate well from routine
  • Rocks body, flaps hands, or spins in circles

Children on the autism spectrum can have any combination of these symptoms. Younger children also receive a diagnosis when they show signs such as sensitivity to sounds or experiences. For example, some children with autism have an aversion to foods with a particular texture or color.

The Broad Spectrum of Autism

Because the autism spectrum is so broad, the symptoms of autism vary greatly. The early symptoms of autism are also easy to identify. Thus, if you suspect your child may have autism, contact your pediatrician and set up an evaluation.

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