The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that about 1 in 68 children have been identified as having autism. Because there’s no specific medical or blood test that will lead directly to a diagnosis, parents and doctors instead look to a child’s development and behavior before making the determination.
In this issue, we’ll share signs that are common in children with autism so that parents and other family members will have a good idea of what to look for. Because autism can affect children in different ways, we’ll break it down into social skills, communication and behavior.
When Autism is Diagnosed
Sometimes, autism can be detected at 18 months or younger. While research tells us that more than half of school-aged children with autism were first diagnosed when they were 5 or older, a reliable diagnosis from an experienced professional can be made by the time the child turns 2.
Social Skill Red Flags for Autism
Among the more common symptoms of autism, issues involving social skills go well beyond shyness. Some of the social skill issues signaling autism include:
- Not responding to their own name by 12 months of age
- Avoids eye-contact
- Prefers to play or remain alone
- Doesn’t share interests with others
- Resists physical contact
- Difficulty understanding feelings of others or expressing their own feelings
- Doesn’t understand personal space boundaries
Communication Red Flags for Autism
While some autistic children speak well, nearly 40% don’t talk at all or do so very little. Interestingly, between 25%-30% of autistic children know some words by the time they reach 12 to 18 months but lose them.
A few examples communication issues for autistic children include:
- Repeating phrases or words continuously
- Speaking in a flat or sing-song voice
- Reversing pronouns (replacing “I” with “you”)
- Giving answers that are unrelated to questions
- Problems understand teasing, jokes or sarcasm
Behavior Red Flags for Autism
Among the unusual interests and behaviors commonly shown by children with autism are:
- Lining up toys or objects in a particular way
- Very organized and becomes upset when even minor changes are made
- Is obsessive with interests
- Is drawn to specific parts of objects – like wheels on a toy
- Flaps hands, spins self in circles or rocks body back and forth
Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm if Your Child Has Autism
Autism has been known to result from a host of causes, including medical malpractice and environmental toxins. While there’s still no known singular cause of autism, it is widely accepted that the sooner a diagnosis is made, the quicker the patient can begin necessary treatment plans.
By leveraging the skilled due diligence of The Fitzgerald Law Firm, you’ll be in a much better position to know the causes of autism for your child.
The first consultation is always free, so call us at 800-323-9900.