Children considered to be on the spectrum often show symptoms from infancy and in the very early stages of cognitive and mental development. Their social and language skills don’t develop until much later, so it can be difficult to spot the early warning signs until a child is socially active and talking.
Each child diagnosed with autism will also show different symptoms to another child, and many symptoms can manifest in different ways. Children with ASD require a lot of attention and support from those around them, and it is critical to spot these early warning signs of autism that are often overlooked.
There are slight variations in the behaviour of autistic children, in that they may develop certain nervous habits or OCD tendencies. These can be seen when a child rocks in the same position for a long time, repeatedly claps their hands, or prefers strict routines that children don’t usually develop until they are much older, for example. OCD behaviours can be seen when an ASD child continuously does the same activity day in and day out and plays with parts of their toys, rather than the whole piece. It can also be noticeable in children who fixate on objects or activities and become emotionally unstable when there is a change in their lives.
Communication is Informal
Probably the most visible signs of autism in a child are the inability or unwillingness to communicate with their family. It can be that the child hasn’t started speaking by the age of 2, doesn’t respond to their name being called, or refers to themselves in the third person. Other signs of communication problems are the child repeating what is being said to them in a parrot fashion, and not responding to questions. ASD-affected children also have a tough time expressing their emotions, and many can be sensitive to lights, sounds, and smells that can trigger hyper behaviour.
Early detection of autism can be done with ASD Assessments from Psymplicity if you are concerned about your child. Available 7 days a week, Psymplicity offers private ASD assessments with experienced psychologists and psychiatrists to help both parents and children. Each case is assigned a dedicated care coordinator whose only job is to help your child deal with their condition.
This is not to say that any bright young child should have an ASD assessment, but that certain talents and skills in unusual ways can be warning signs. This can be defined as an amazing ability to recall numbers and facts with little practice, or that they are particularly good with technical components most adults battle with. Some ASD children show great artistic ability before they can walk. This condition isn’t due to magic DNA, but because their neurological functioning works differently to others, and can show increased abilities in science or maths, but lack social skills.
ASD is generally diagnosed at a young age and getting a professional evaluation is critical for any autistic child’s future wellbeing. Autism can be a difficult condition to manage as a patient and as a parent, and starting the journey early on will only make it easier if you notice any of these early warning signs.