Autism is a developmental disability that affects children, teenagers, and adults. Millions of people in the United States have been diagnosed with autism. While this disability has many symptoms, most people with autism will have difficulty learning new things, communicating, and socializing. Autism typically presents itself when the person is a child (usually between ages 2-3), and symptoms are often common within diagnosed individuals. Here are some of the most common observations to look for with your child if you think they may show signs of autism.
They are nonverbal when they should otherwise have started speaking
One of the first indications is that your child may have autism if they are not yet speaking when they should be beginning to start verbally communicating. They may avoid eye contact when spoken to and either have speech issues or do not talk at all.
They exhibit repetitive behaviors and patterns
People with autism are often drawn to repetition. This may be seen when playing with toys, such as lining them up a certain way or only play with specific toys. They may also repeat the same words or phrases if they are verbal.
They have difficulty focusing on school and learning new lessons
While some children without developmental concerns can still have trouble focusing on academics, autistic kids may have more noticeable challenges learning new concepts, concentrating, and becoming frustrated with their education.
They have challenges expressing or controlling their emotions
Children who show signs of autism may have difficulty controlling their emotions or their reactions to certain things. They may overreact in specific situations or have trouble letting others know how they feel and why. This can lead to increased frustration, not just for the individual but for the parents of the child. It can also affect their ability to make friends with peers.
They have trouble interacting with others or socializing
Autistic children may face challenges socializing with other kids, especially if they are non-verbal. This can affect their ability to learn communication skills and interact effectively with others their age. They may also not be able to read social cues as they get a little older, which can make them feel as though they don’t conform to social norms. Their inability to control their feelings as well as others in their age group can cause agitation.
If you are a parent of a young child who exhibits some of these behaviors, it may be wise to check in with a healthcare provider to learn more about potential treatment plans if they do develop autism.
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