Autism symptoms in children can be observed as early as 3 years. The symptoms of autism are well marked so they can be easily differentiated from normal behaviour. By observing the behavioural patterns one can help an autistic child in the early stages itself. Read on to know about the symptoms of autism in children.
There are various symptoms of autism exhibited by an autistic child. Children having autism have impaired social interaction, repetitive behaviours and communication problems. The signs of autism are visible in the child during babyhood which by the age of 3 years is diagnosed as autism.Some children may develop normally till the age of two years after which their development retreats quickly. Some of the symptoms may be self-abusive behaviour, banging their head, rocking or biting. If you feel your child is autistic here are some symptoms of autism.
Common Symptoms of Autism in Children
Autism symptoms are classified into social symptoms, communication symptoms and repetitive behaviours.
Impaired Social Interaction Symptoms
Impaired social interaction is the most common symptom of autism. Here the child is unable to communicate effectively with people around and also finds it very difficult to interact. The child may exhibit the following behaviours:
Constant focus on a particular item for a long period of time
Shows no response to people
Can not have eye-contact
May prefer to stay or play alone
Abnormal speech patterns i.e. may repeat some words continuously over a long period of time.
Inability in understanding facial gestures and expressions
Difficulty in perceiving things from other’s perspectives
Head-banging, pulling hair, breaking items, hurting themselves, biting their arm
Difficulty with Communication Skills
Lack of proper communication skills is another very important sign of autism. The child may face problems with verbal and non-verbal communication. The child may exhibit the following symptoms:
May be mute up to a certain age or life long.
May use sign language or pictures to communicate.
Use language in unusual ways.
Face difficulty in combing words to make sentences; some may speak only single words or repeat a particular phrase all the time.
Constant echoing of words wherein they tend to repeat the same word many times.
Difficulty in carrying a conversation.
Faces problems in understanding voice tone and body language as a way of expressing certain feelings.
Difficulty in expressing their needs which lead them to screaming and grabbing things.
Many autistic children hold on to repetitive behaviours like:
Curling and rocking
Address themselves by their name instead of "I"
Difficulty in interacting and playing with other children
Intense obsession with some things e.g. may take excess interest in learning about lighthouses, train and bus schedules etc.
May take keen interest in numbers, science topics etc
Sensory Symptoms of Autism in Children
Autistic children may face certain sensory symptoms like
Hyper or hypo sensitive to sound, light, crowd etc
Gross motor difficulty
Poor athletic skills
Hyper or hypo sensitivities cause the child to react abnormally or negatively to loud noises, brightly lit areas e.g. they may cover their ears to avoid loud noises.
Other Symptoms of Autism in Children
Fail to smile
Excessive obsession with a particular toy
No response to name
Do not know how to play with toys
Difficulty in making and maintaining many friends
Like activities which require lesser or no verbal interaction
These are the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder shown by children. If these symptoms are seen, parents should immediately consult their doctor. Early treatment can help child to cope with autism easily.
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