Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. The signs of autism can vary widely, but there are some early signs that parents may look for when wondering if their child may be showing some signs of ASD. In this blog, we will discuss the early signs of autism.
What are the Early Signs of Autism?
Delayed Speech Development: One of the early signs of autism is delayed speech development. An autistic child may not be able to say their first words until after their first birthday, and they may have difficulty putting words together into meaningful sentences.
Lack of Eye Contact: Autistic children often have difficulty making eye contact with others. They may avoid looking at people's faces, even when being spoken to directly.
Repetitive Behaviors: Autistic children may engage in repetitive behaviors, such as hand flapping or body rocking. They may also have a fixation on a particular object or topic.
Difficulty with Social Interaction: Autistic children may struggle to interact with others, including making friends and engaging in conversation. They may seem uninterested in playing with other children or playing with toys in a social way. They may not respond to their name being called.
Sensory Sensitivities: Autistic children may be sensitive to certain sounds, smells, or textures. They may become upset or overwhelmed in noisy or crowded environments.
Unusual Play: Autistic children may have unusual play patterns, such as fixating on one toy for an extended period or engaging in repetitive play. Some may line their toys up, or spin them.
Difficulty with Change: Autistic children may struggle with changes in routine or unexpected events. They may become upset or anxious when their schedule is disrupted.
Difficulty with Non-Verbal Communication: Autistic children may have difficulty with non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions, gestures, and body language. They may not understand other people's nonverbal cues or may not use them themselves.
What Should I Do if I Suspect My Child May be Autistic?
If you suspect that your child may be autistic, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your child's pediatrician. The doctor can perform a developmental screening and refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Early intervention is critical for autistic children. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcomes can be. Treatment may involve speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, or behavioral therapy among other interventions.
As a parent, it is also essential to educate yourself about autism and connect with support groups and resources in your community. Raising an autistic child can be challenging, but with the right support and resources, you can help your child reach their full potential.
In conclusion, being aware of the early signs of autism and seeking medical advice if you suspect your child may be autistic can make a significant difference in your child's development and future outcomes. Early intervention and support can help autistic children lead happy and fulfilling lives.
Making that first call to a professional can be very scary. The speech-language pathologists at Access to Better Communication are here to help guide you if you are concerned about your child's development. Call us at (225) 930-0208 or email us at email@example.com and let us help you help your child.