MONDAY, JANUARY 2, 2023 (HealthDay News) — If your child has autism, you can recognize symptoms as early as 18 months of age.
A doctor is needed to diagnose the condition, but parents and caregivers should be aware of its symptoms, advises the Autism Institute, and offers other tips for recognizing early symptoms.
Children with autism can exhibit a variety of social, communication, and behavioral symptoms.
According to a California-based institute, this can include difficulty communicating with others, which is often evident in early childhood.
A qualified professional can assess delays in language development and nonverbal communication.
Another clue is the tone of voice. Some people with autism have difficulty regulating and adjusting their tone of voice, according to the Institute. You may.
Poor eye contact or avoidance of eye contact is also a common symptom. A child with autism may also have difficulty recognizing and using facial expressions, gestures, and her entire body language.
Repetitive behavior is a common behavioral symptom and includes hand and arm shaking, spinning, flapping wings, and flickering of fingers in front of eyes.
Children with autism may play with toys and other objects in unusual ways. This may involve repeatedly flipping a light switch or tirelessly spinning a coin.
Ritualistic behavior such as eating the same food every meal or being very upset immediately after changing plans can be another sign.
Some people on the autism spectrum injure themselves by banging their heads against walls, biting their hands, and scratching their skin. The Institute notes that there are many medical, sensory, nutritional, and behavioral approaches to treat these behaviors.
If a child is self-harming, parents should consult their child’s doctor immediately.
Certain conditions such as seizures, hyperesthesia, anxiety, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal, metabolic, and immune dysregulation can occur with autism.
Contact your doctor to help diagnose autism and treat behavioral and co-occurring conditions.
Adults with these symptoms may also be diagnosed with autism. This may be due to increased awareness and screening.
For more information
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Source: Autism Institute, news release