As more and more people become aware of autism due to recent media attention, the more that you may start to find yourself wondering whether your child may be affected. The good news is, if you’re curious whether your child falls in the spectrum, you’re not the only one.
Milder cases of autism may be more challenging to identify; however, in some cases, you may be able to identify the signs at an early age. It’s important to note that even if you suspect your child may be autistic, only a medical professional can say for sure. If you do determine that your child has autism, you should know that there is support available.
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for which may point towards ASD.
Highly Sensitive To Sounds
Many kids react with alarm to loud sounds. However, kids with ASD have a particularly strong reaction which you may even mistake for pain. Rather than appearing startled or curious about a loud noise, autistic children tend to have a strong emotional response. Whether its a loud TV or a passing siren, their reactions may be more intense than their peers.
If you notice that harsh noises result in crying or even physical aggression in your child, it may be something to pay closer attention to.
Avoids Eye Contact
ASD kids may not make eye contact with their parents as early as other children. They may miss cues like smiling back at people. Since children on the spectrum have a more difficult time recognizing emotion, they may show no emotion themselves.
If you notice that your child’s eyes wander when you speak to them or they look at the ground more than at you, it may be a sign of ASD. Unfortunately, many parents mistake this for a sign of disrespect or disinterest, when in fact it’s because they have trouble reading others’ emotions.
In the early stages of childhood development, children with ASD don’t engage in baby babble as much as their peers. Most children can say at least several words by the time they reach the age of one. If your child isn’t saying anything by this age, it’s something you should bring up to your doctor.
If your child does, in fact, have autism, the best way to help them learn to communicate is early intervention.
Little Interest In Social Interaction
A “normal” child response to the world around them is curiosity and amusement. However, you notice that kids with ASD aren’t very interested in their surroundings. They don’t have the same level of curiosity or interest in interacting with others in their company.
Lack of interest in seeking attention from peers or parents is a common symptom of a child that falls somewhere on the spectrum.