Autism is a big deal, one in 88 children in the world have it. Most of the time, parents dismiss it as bad behavior until it’s too late and they have a serious problem on their hands. Autism can be detected as early as two years old, although signs are everywhere far before that time comes. On Dec. 26 KTAR reports that milestones within the first two years are the biggest indications that something might be wrong. If you are questioning whether your child is suffering from the “terrible twos” or there is a more serious problem, here are some signs you can look for before rushing your little one to the doctor.
These are all common signs of autism that a child can display all at once or individually throughout life. The earlier these things are detected, the easier some of these habits are to correct.
- Struggling- Often times, autistic children will struggle with things that seem easy to other other children of the same age. Communication and social skills are usually the biggest challenge. When they are alone, they may find pretend play difficult and avoid it all together when they are able to.
- Sensitivity- This could be an over sensitivity or a lack of sensitivity to things such as tags in shirts, temperatures, tastes, smells, textures and lights. Some parents will find that their autistic child has a combination of over and under sensitivities that will likely frustrate them and make no sense. Certain textures can affect a child’s eating habits and lights can cause floaters that will send your child a flutter with panic because they “see” things.
- Repetition- Most parents find their child’s play habits odd. They often line things up, stack things, or will use repetitive gestures or words. Strict routines are also part of this repetitive behavior because the lack of structure makes them uncomfortable.
- Communication- Eye contact is a difficult part of communication for kids with ASD. They have an even more difficult time communicating when they are forced to lock eyes, initiate a conversation, or be able to follow directions without a visual queue and a simple request. Often, the biggest indicator of a child being autistic is when their communication and social skills begin to regress and they lose valuable skills they where once taught.
- Preservation- Transition is hard for most people regardless of whether they are autistic or not. However, if they are, preserving things can become almost a hobby for some whether it is an unwillingness to switch tasks, obsessive tendencies, or even asking the same question repeatedly.
- Object attachment- While some children enjoy a particular object, some almost need it to function. That favorite blanket, stuffed animal or toy car can almost become a safety zone for your child when things become overwhelming.
- Fascination- Does your child now an uncanny amount about some fact or another? Can they recite lines to you word for word from a movie or things that you have told them? Does your kiddo repeat facts to you more than you see them sitting down with a coloring book at a young age? If this sounds anything like your child, they are fascinating and can be stuck on a subject for days.
It likely won’t be difficult to see your child with more than one of these signs. If you do find these things common for your child, consider having them tested for autism.