Does My Child Have Autism? Know the Signs

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

How to Choose an Advocate to Help with Your Child with Special Needs

Finding the right resources to help you with your child with a disability sometimes feels like an uphill battle. Most parents are told “no” when they ask for educational services for their children at IEP team meetings. And the paperwork for financial assistance is overwhelming and complex. But, you know you need help.

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How to Prepare for the IHSS Home Interview

If you are a parent of a child with special needs and you are looking for financial assistance, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) may be the right program for you. IHSS is run by the government, and it provides funding so you can stay home with your child and take care of him or her. This means that you can receive an hourly wage and become the caretaker for your child.

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Plans for the New Year: Set Up How Your Child with Special Needs Will Be Taken Care Of When You’re Gone

As a parent, you struggle with the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for your child with special needs, but often your biggest challenge is putting financial strategies in place to ensure that he or she is taken care of as you all grow older.

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The Best Toys for Your Child with Special Needs this Holiday Season

The holidays season is here, and you are in the middle of shopping for your entire family. You want to get a great toy for your child with autism. With so many therapeutic toys on the market, finding the right one for your child with special needs can prove to be challenging.

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Bake Reindeer Cookies with Your Child with Special Needs

The school break for the holidays is coming up fast! It can be a hectic time of year, so it’s important to find some quiet time in the middle of all the activities during the season. Especially for your child with special needs. Baking together is a fun, peaceful way to spend an afternoon or evening, maybe listening to your child’s favorite songs and enjoying a moment of much-needed downtime.

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How to Keep the Holidays Happy for Your Child with Special Needs

As a parent of a child with special needs, the holiday season can feel like one big chaotic disaster. Between socializing during Thanksgiving and of course the countless festivities associated with Hanukkah, Christmas, Ramadan and other holidays, there are a lot of big events where kids are expected to be on their best behavior. Not to mention the bright lights, unfamiliar smells, loud sounds and constricting expectations—it all can be overwhelming for a child with Autism or other development disabilities.

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Your Child with Down Syndrome: Early Intervention

Medical professionals agree that early intervention services can greatly help children with disabilities. An organized program of therapy, early intervention includes exercises and activities created to concentrate on developmental delays that may be experienced by children with Down syndrome or other disabilities.

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Tips on Talking With Your Child With Special Needs About Tragic Events

When terrible events happen, you as a parent may find yourself uncomfortably fielding questions from your child. He may understandably have lots of questions and concerns, and in some cases, he may experience some anxiety, and worry that something similar could happen to him or to his family.

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Advocating at School for Your Child with Disabilities

Children with disabilities have rights to services in school under federal and state laws. Special education is not just a specific place for your child to go; it is a set of services developed with your child in mind. Approximately six million students in the United States obtain special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

But getting started with the special education process can be daunting if you are new to all of it. The right resources and support can help make it a little easier so you as a parent can be your child with special needs best advocate.
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