One of the most common questions we get at Behavior Essentials is how to identify the early signs on Autism in children. We specialize in helping parents navigate the early stages of a child’s diagnosis. The starting point for an Autism diagnosis is identifying the early signs of Autism in a child’s behavior as they begin to exhibit it. We have broken down several key areas to help you identify these signs and take action to get children the ABA therapy they need as soon as possible.
How does your child interact and communicate with others? Look for the following behaviors in the first few years of your child’s development:
● Avoids or does not keep eye contact
● Does not respond to their name by 9 months of age
● Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age
● Does not play simple interactive games like pat-a-cake by 12 months of age
● Uses few or no gestures by 12 months of age (e.g., does not wave goodbye)
● Does not share interests with others (e.g., shows you an object that he or she likes by 15 months of age)
● Does not point or look at what you point to by 18 months of age
● Does not notice when others are hurt or sad by 24 months of age
● Does not pretend in play (e.g., does not pretend to “feed” a doll by 30 months of age)
● Shows little interest in peers
● Has trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about own feelings at 36 months of age or older
● Does not play games with turn taking by 60 months of age.
A key sign in your child is repetitive behaviors or interests that are restrictive in nature.This repetitive behavior is most noticeable while the child plays. Look for the following child behavior as your child engages with his toys or games:
● Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed.
● Echolalia: Repeats the same words or phrases over and over.
● Plays with toys the same way every time.
● Is focused on parts of objects.
● Gets upset by minor changes. Must follow certain routines.
● Has obsessive interests
● Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
● Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
If you begin to notice some of the above signs, there are a few more general signs that children display outside of social interactions and playing which show inclination towards Autism diagnosis.
● Hyperactive, impulsive, and/or inattentive behavior
● Epilepsy or seizure disorder (1 in 4 children)
● Sleep disturbances
● Gastrointestinal issues
● Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry
● Lack of fear or more fear than expected
At Behavior Essentials, we can teach you why specific behaviors occur and how to prevent and respond to them. We can also teach you all about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and the language you will encounter when speaking with ABA providers. We will also connect you with resources, put your child’s name on as many waitlists as possible, and follow up with providers to make sure your child’s spot is retained.
Where To Get More Information.