Until two of my children were diagnosed with autism, I had very little understanding of the disorder. Though most people have heard of autism spectrum disorder, they are underinformed until it directly affects them. This lack of information directly correlates to the misunderstanding and misconceptions of autism.
I truly believe that education is the key to awareness and acceptance. Here is an easy-to-read guide on the signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disorder that typically starts before age three but can be (and often is) at older ages. Symptoms can vary from person to person, as well as the severity of the symptoms. All persons with an autism diagnosis will have some varying degrees in the following three areas:
- communication (verbal & non-verbal)
- relationships – Struggling with relating to others & their environment
- lack of thought & behavior flexibly
Autism Symptoms In Infants and Toddlers
- No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months
- Does not answer to name by 12 months
- The is no babbling or “baby talk” by 12 months
- No pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months
- Has no spoken words by 16 months
- No meaningful two-word phrases (non-repeating) by 24 months
- ANY REGRESSION OR LOSS OF SPEECH
Autism Signs and Symptoms
- Extremely Intense Emotions
- Speech delay and, or learning disability
- May not want to be held/touched/cuddled
- Avoidance & sensitivity to noise and sound
- meltdowns inability to calm down
- Twirling and spinning of self and objects
- Social & emotional Immaturity
- Lack of or struggles with empathy/sympathy
- Difficulties falling and staying asleep
- Anxiety / Depression
- Clumsy, constantly getting bumps and bruises.
- Poor Muscle Tone (i.e. Not being able to walk regular distances without exhaustion)
- Problems Playing with Others, Appearing “Bossy” or “Controlling”
- Improper relationships with peers, acting like an adult towards other children or adults
- Inflexible Emotions and behaviors Can’t Let Go of Issues
- Problems getting and keeping friends
- Inconsistent Eye Contact with others
- Extreme intensity of interests
- Lack of Coping Skills struggling with unexpected transitions
- Struggles with conversations, very one-sided
- Robotic voice, changes or lack of changes in tone of voice
- Persistent repetition of words or actions
- Impulsive, lack of impulse control
These are some of the significant signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Early intervention is vital. If you notice any of these, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s doctor, as only a professional can give an autism diagnosis. For more information on autism parenting, resource guides, and giveaways, make sure to click that purple button below!