What are the symptoms I should be looking for? Start here

April 18, 2012

Symptoms of Autism

Image provided by CDC.gov

With this being Autism Awareness month I thought I would write about some common symptoms of Autism to help anyone who might be wondering or concerned about a child they think might fall onto the spectrum.   For those who do have concern for a child & even think there might be a chance they have Autism, I cannot stress enough the importance of testing the child immediately.  Early intervention is so important so do not wait to take action.

We hear most parents of children with autism tell us that their regular pediatrician shrugged off their concerns as “boys are just slower than girls”, or “let’s just wait a year and see if he comes around”. Do not accept these comments as answers to your concerns, because if there is something wrong, the time you lose you can never get back and early intervention is essential.

  • Delay in, or lack of, learning to talk. As many as 40% of people with autism never speak
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
  • Poor eye contact
  • Stereotyped behaviors:  These may include body rocking , hand flapping, like to watch spinning objects
  • Odd play such as; using toys for something besides there their intended purpose or using an odd attraction to an item that is inappropriate for age
  • Lining up toys / objects
  • Oversensitive or under sensitive to pain
  • Desire for the same daily schedule, toys, type of clothes or an insistent on “sameness”
  • Repeating words, phrases in place of typical language or conversation (This is known as echolalia)
  • Excessive or frequent tantrums
  • Can be aggressive or self injurious
  • Prefers to be alone – may have social skills deficits
  • Autistics can act deaf or be non responsive to verbal cues
  • Sensitivity to loud noises, tags in clothes, coarse clothing, lights, and smells
  • Frequently uses peripheral vision to track items (e.g., rolling car along countertop at eye-level)

How to find a pediatric developmental specialist to diagnose your child:

  • Getting a parent recommendation from a developmental specialist they have used
  • Google search for “developmental pediatrician and your city & state”
  • Referral from your regular pediatrician
  • Your insurance company’s list of providers

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