A Parent’s Guide for Recognizing the Signs of Autism
As a parent or caregiver, you know your child better than anyone else. From infancy to toddlerhood, it’s important to monitor your child’s development closely and address any problems you observe early on. Spotting the signs of autism is especially key for getting your child the help they need to overcome challenges and thrive.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism is a serious neurological and developmental disorder that impact how an individual communicates, behaves, and interacts with other people. Because it is a spectrum disorder, impairments can range from mild to very severe.
Autism can be detected in early childhood with signs usually appearing by age two or three. Therefore, parents and caregivers are vital in recognizing these signs and seeking help before problems persist and interfere with daily living.
Monitor your child’s development and watch for these signs of autism:
Communication – verbal and nonverbal
- Speech delays
- Speaking in a monotone voice
- Repeating specific words or phrases
- Difficulty understanding facial expressions, gestures, and body language
- Difficulty relating to peers
- Avoiding eye contact
- Unable to express emotion
- Anger when routines are disrupted
- Repeating specific motions or actions
- Hyper- or hypo-sensitivity to touch, sounds, smells, sights, taste, balance, and body awareness
If your child is struggling to achieve significant developmental milestones or is showing substantial delays in relation to their peers, it’s important to take action. Get your child screened and contact your pediatrician or family doctor. Professional evaluation is critical to getting your child the help they need.