Autism diagnosis is on the rise and more and more children are being diagnosed with this disorder as people become familiar with it. However, it is important to note that a professional diagnosis cannot be made until the child is approximately two years old. This doesn’t mean that your child will not have any symptoms before that. As a matter of fact, children on the autism spectrum can start exhibiting some symptoms as early as six months old. The signs and symptoms, as well as their severity, can vary. Therefore, it is crucial for parents to monitor their child’s development and consult a doctor if they have any concerns.
One more thing that parents need to understand is that it is not just the presence of strange behaviors that warn about the presence of autism; it is actually the lack of normal ones. If you believe your child is showing symptoms of autism, you can take your autism test online and verify your suspicions and then consult a doctor. But, that can only happen when you know what those signs are. Some of the top ones are:
Delayed motor development
First and foremost, a lot of children on the spectrum will experience significant delays when it comes to achieving their motor development milestones such as pushing themselves up, rolling over and crawling.
Engaging in repetitive behavior such as stiffening their hands, legs, and arms is also one of the symptoms of autism. Look for unusual body movements such as rotating their hands on their wrists or standing and sitting in uncommon postures.
Lack of gesturing
It is normal for kids to start communicating by gesturing at people or objects. Lack of these gestures is an unusual behavior. Your child should be able to point at things, reach for them and also wave goodbye at people. This milestone is typically reached when the baby is 9 to 10 months old.
Seeking attention infrequently
Does your child make noises to get attention and do they cuddle? Do they reach towards you when they want to be picked up? Children suffering from autism are often disinterested in seeking the attention of a loved one because they find it difficult to relate to others.
Poor eye contact
Making eye contact with parents or anyone else is a problem for a child on the spectrum. They will also find it difficult to follow an object visually. As the baby grows, you need to watch them for eye contact and a severe lack of it is an early indicator of autism because it is a form of comprehension and communication.
Not responding to name
Between the age of 6 and 12 months, children usually start responding to their names. If they are unresponsive, it could be because of a hearing issue, but if that’s not the case, it could be a sign of autism.
Delay in cooing and babbling
By the age of 12 months, children start the ‘baby talk’, which involves lots of cooing and babbling. They do this very frequently and a delay can be worrisome for parents watching out for autism.
Limited imitation of social cues
Children start imitating the movement and sounds of others and they also begin sharing expressions back and forth. An early indicator of autism is a child’s infrequent imitation of smiles, sounds, facial expression and laughter by the age of 9 months.
Lack of smiling
Kids respond with a smile when parents smile at them. At the age of 6 months, your child should start doing so.
Watch out for these signs and then consult a specialist, if necessary.