Early signs of autism in children every parent should know

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors.

Recognizing the early signs in children can be pivotal for early intervention, which can greatly improve a child’s development. Let’s shed light on those early indicators, ensuring that parents and guardians are better informed and prepared.

  1. Delayed development

A significant early sign of autism in children is the delay in reaching developmental milestones. These include delays in babbling, speaking, or using gestures by the expected age.

Most children are naturally expressive by their first year, using gestures like pointing or waving goodbye, so any noticeable delay in these areas might warrant further observation.

  1. Social challenges

Children with autism often show noticeable differences in how they engage with others. They might struggle with making eye contact, seem indifferent to caregivers, or not look at objects when another person points at them.

Unlike their peers, children with autism may not share interests or achievements with parents or caregivers (like showing a drawing or toy).

  1. Repetitive behaviors

Repetitive behaviors or movements can also be a telltale sign of autism. This could manifest as repetitive movements with objects, such as spinning wheels, or with their own bodies, like rocking back and forth.

Children with autism might also insist on following routines to an extreme extent and show distress over minor changes.

  1. Unusual responses to sensory input

Children on the autism spectrum may react in an unusual way to sensory input. This could be an oversensitivity or undersensitivity to sounds, lights, and textures.

They may find certain sounds unbearable or be indifferent to temperature or pain.

Here’s what to do

Recognizing these signs early on is crucial. Early intervention services, including therapy and support, can significantly improve outcomes.

If you notice these signs in your child, consulting with a healthcare professional who specializes in ASD is a critical next step.

Understanding autism is an ongoing process for parents, educators, and society as a whole. By staying informed and vigilant, we can ensure that children with autism receive the support they need to thrive. each child is unique, and with the right support, they can reach their full potential.

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