Signs and Symptoms of Autism in Children

Symptoms of Autism in Children

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects everyone differently. This is basically a developmental disability that has an impact on how people behave, communicate and interact with others. There is no single cause of autism and the symptoms can be severe or mild, varying for every individual. Some children on the spectrum will start exhibiting signs when they are only a couple of months old. There are also those who may have a normal development for the first few months or even years and start exhibiting symptoms. However, in most cases, parents will start noticing problems before their child reaches the age of 2 years.

While children suffering from ASD might have symptoms all their life, they can be managed effectively with early help and intervention. Some people have noticeable issues and in others, they are more subtle. Some of the common signs and symptoms you expect to see in children with autism are:

  • Social Skills

A child suffering from autism will find it difficult to interact with others. Issues in the development of social skills are one of the most common signs of ASD. Children may want to have close relationships but may be unable to do so. Some of the symptoms you will start noticing in your child include:

  • Prefer to be alone
  • Unable to respond to their name by their first birthday
  • Don’t like to be comforted when upset
  • Not interested in sharing, playing or talking to others
  • Rejecting or avoiding physical contact
  • Unable to understand emotions- their own and others’
  • Communication

Almost 40% of the kids on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) don’t speak at all and almost 30% develop language skills in infancy but lose them later on. Some children with ASD may start talking in later life. Some other communication symptoms include:

  • Singsong voice or flat, robotic speaking voice
  • Problems with pronouns
  • Inability to focus on topic when answering questions
  • Delayed language and speaking skills
  • Echolalia (repetition of the same phrase)
  • Not recognizing jokes or sarcasm
  • Rarely or not using common gestures like waving and not responding to them
  • Patterns of Behavior

Autistic children also act in ways that may seem unusual or may have interests that are not typical of children. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Constantly moving or exhibiting ‘hyper’ behavior
  • Not imitating others or taking part in ‘make-believe’ games
  • Clumsiness and lack of coordination
  • Extreme sensitivity to sound, light, and touch
  • Repetitive behaviors like rocking, hand-flapping, twirling or jumping
  • Fussy eating habits
  • Short attention span
  • Impulsiveness i.e. acting without thinking
  • Specific rituals and routines and getting upset when there is any change
  • Aggressive behavior, with themselves and others
  • Fixation on certain objects or activities

Knowing these signs and symptoms is extremely important for parents because the earlier the treatment for autism begins, the more effective it will be. If you realize that your child doesn’t meet the specific developmental milestones of a normal child, you can consult a pediatrician. There are also instances when the child might meet these milestones but ends up losing them later on, which is also a cause of worry.

However, it is also a fact that every child develops and grows at a different pace. If you think you are being overly concerned, there is a simple solution; you can take an online test for autism child. This is basically a quiz that doesn’t take more than five minutes and can help you assess if your child is indeed showing symptoms that point to autism. Check the results and then decide if you need to start looking for an autism expert to get a professional diagnosis.