Worrying about your child comes naturally. It’s hard to be a parent and not wonder if your new baby is going to grow up happy and healthy. Autism is just one of the many developmental challenges that parents are concerned about. Children usually begin showing signs at an early age. I’ve made a list below of 7 signs of autism that usually lead to a positive diagnosis by a licensed doctor.
7 Lack of Expression
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If your baby doesn’t begin to smile or show any form of a happy expression, then it is recommended that you take her to a pediatrician or family doctor. Children develop at different rates, but it’s very rare for a baby to still remain expressionless by the age of 6 months. By 9 months, children should be showing a variety of facial expressions and even sharing sounds.
6 Babbling is Absent
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Babies tend to make random cooing noises and should be babbling by the age of 12 months. The impulse to mimic is strong and also a common thing for babies to do, which is why a lack of babbling is a big concern for parents. A lot of times, this babbling is combined with pointing, reaching, or other hand gestures. A lack of these should also cause concern.
5 No Words Being Uttered
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Even simple words should be heard coming from your baby by the age of 16 months. Don’t expect entire sentences, but at least one-syllable words should be uttered. By the time she reaches 24 months, she should be saying at least two-word phrases. Imitating or repeating phrases doesn’t count. Your child should be able to say various phrases all on her own by this age.
4 No Pretend Play
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Try giving your child a toy she can pretend with, such as a teapot and a cup. Ask her to make you a cup of tea and see if she’s capable of this. A toddler should be more than able of mimicking an adult’s movements involved with pouring a cup of tea. Pretending to do things that adults and peers do regularly is a common occurrence for most children. A complete lack of any type of pretend play can be a sign for concern.
3 Seems to Have Slow Development
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Showing signs of a developmental level that is months behind where it should be can be caused by a number of things. There are specific age ranges that development occurs at. While these vary slightly for each child, a cut off age is also provided. A doctor will need to take a look at your child and consider a variety of factors before determining if your child is well beyond the appropriate age for a specific type of developmental to take place.
2 Focuses Intently on One Specific Thing for Long Periods of Time
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Intense focus can be seen from time to time, especially when a child receives a new toy for a special occasion. However, if this focus is so intense that your child is completely oblivious to people around her most of the time, then you might want to discuss this with her doctor. A lack of interaction with others isn’t common for children when it happens all the time. Children should at least respond when their name is called by a familiar voice, but children with autism will often remain focused on a particular object or simply ignore external cues all together.
1 Out of Touch with Reality
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Autistic children tend to be in their own little world. Sometimes outside noises and situations don’t faze them. They can appear to be disinterested in what is going on around them and possible even unaware of movement. Connecting with peers or making friends isn’t a necessity or even a thought. Talking about feelings or showing concern about anything is also common with children who have autism.
I hope these 7 signs of autism help you or someone you know with some unanswered questions. Do you notice any of these signs in your child or a friend’s child? Have you ever seen any additional signs in a child that has been diagnosed with autism? Please feel free to share your thoughts. Your comment might be just what someone else needs to answer their own question.