There is no gift more magical than a child; when you have one of your own, you only want to protect them. As they grow, you become aware of their behaviors, and for some parents, they wonder if their child displays abnormalities. Autism is an example of this, as children often display symptoms before age two.
It’s important to recognize the signs of autism as soon as possible. In doing so, your child can benefit from early intervention. Here are some signs that your child may have autism.
Children with autism might find making eye contact with others uncomfortable and struggle with knowing what to do with their bodies around others. They might not realize how their body language gets interpreted by other people and might struggle to read another person’s body language. Another example is if your child has autism, they may have delayed speech, use few or no gestures, repeat words or phrases, and give unrelated answers to questions. Other communication problems include:
- Consistently flat or musical voice.
- Consistent repetition of certain words or phrases.
- Problems with pronoun use
- Unable to pick up common gestures.
Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors
A common trait in people with autism is restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. This could be rocking, flapping their arms, or pacing around the room. It is common for someone with autism to use objects in a particular way or even in a repetitive manner. For instance, they might make a long line of a certain type of object, such as toys or blocks. They also might focus on a specific part of an object, such as spinning the wheel and watching it move.
Restricted, Fixated Interests
Another characteristic of autism is having very strong interests. This means the person has one or a few topics they are extremely interested in. They might need help with entertaining other topics or engaging in conversations with other people about things that are not related to their own interests.
Children with autism might have specific sensory-related behaviors, such as excessive smelling or touching of objects or having a visual fascination with lights or specific sounds. It is also common for those on the spectrum to have hyper-reactivity or hypo-reactivity to sensory experiences.
Hyperreactivity means your child is overly sensitive to sensory stimulation. In this case, they might feel that lights are too bright or noises are too loud, compared to how most people experience these things. Hyporeactivity means the child may be under-sensitive to sensory stimulation. They might not sense pain or cold temperatures as well as other people do. They might want to feel more movement which may result in excessive and repetitive motor movements.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.