As a parent, you never want to believe that your child might have a disability. But when it comes to autism, catching it early makes a huge difference. However you feel about it, there’s no question that the stage between questioning whether your child is autistic and getting a diagnosis is a big one.
Autism is a spectrum of closely-related disorders that share common symptoms. It is a lifelong developmental disability which affects the way a person communicates and how they experience the world around them. Autism affects everybody differently, and people with autism, just like people everywhere, have all sorts of individual personalities, sensitivities, preferences, and viewpoints. No one child is likely to display every symptom of autism exactly as the model says. However, there are some general areas to watch out for:
General Signs of Autism
- Learning little or no language at all
- Echolalia: repeating particular sounds, words or phrases simply for the satisfaction of saying them over and over
- Not using common non-verbal ways of communicating, such as shaking the head or pointing
- Limited eye contact
- Not responding to efforts to engage them
- Being solitary, preferring to play alone
- Having trouble grasping basic forms of manners, like saying ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’
- Difficulty grasping the idea of taking turns
- Engaging in repetitive behaviors for comfort or relaxation
- Having unusual preferences about touching – for instance, being comforted by hard squeezes but agitated by gentle contact
- Being highly stimulated by certain visual experiences like fans and wheels, or bright and flashing lights
- Finding certain noises unbearable
- Having easily irritated skin
- Delayed motor skills
- Being late to develop ‘toileting’ skills
You are in the best position to spot the earliest warning signs of autism. You know your child better than anyone. Your child’s pediatrician can be a valuable partner, but don’t discount the importance of your own observations and experience. The key is to educate yourself so you know what’s normal and what’s not.
If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.
American Disability Association is dedicated to the wellbeing and protection of children with disabilities and actively provides support to enhance their quality of life. Whether you are dealing with federal or state benefits or struggling with a school district to get proper education for your child, we have the resources to help you. Many individuals and families managing a disability are not aware of the wide array of services available to them, or they do not know how to apply for these benefits in a way that is likely to succeed.
Contact us for help. Dial (877) 283-4807 or email us at email@example.com.
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