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Autism Awareness: 10 Common Signs of Autism in Children

What You Need to Know

If you’re here, then you’re most likely wondering if your child is showing signs of autism. First off, I’ve been there in the unknown of what may or may not be happening with my child.

Second, there’s no need to worry or fear! This is still your sweet baby you’ve loved since they were a little bean sprout in your belly.

I know I wasn’t scared of my son being autistic, but just that autism means so many different things. Will my son talk? Will my son laugh at my dumb jokes? What does this mean for his future? 

There are so many variables with autism, but we’re lucky to live in a time where we know more about it and can get an evaluation and diagnosis. The earlier the diagnosis, the better.

So, if you feel in your gut that your child needs intervention, then talk to your pediatrician, find out options to get evaluated, and look for state programs that provide intervention services (ours is Birth to Three).

Now, let’s dive into the basics then on to the 10 signs!

What is Autism?

Autism, AKA Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a developmental disorder that affects how the brain grows and processes. This in turn affects communication, behavior, social interaction, and sensory processing. 

When I said there are variables with autism, I meant that individuals vary widely in the severity of symptoms and how they show up in their daily lives. There is no one size fits all with autism.

Which is really another reason why evaluations are so important. One individual’s delays, behavior, communication levels, etc. is going to be different from another’s. Evaluations mean more than a diagnosis, but also means an individual intervention plan!

10 Common Signs of Autism in Children

Please keep in mind that I am not a professional that can diagnose or evaluate anyone. Autism requires a qualified healthcare professional to make the evaluation and diagnosis, and that’s not me. With that said, here are some common signs your child could have autism:

  1. Delays in speech, language, or communication skills.
  2. Lacking social skills, which can include not wanting to make eye contact, share interests, or interact with others.
  3. Repetitive behaviors or routines; this could be rocking back and forth, lining up objects, flapping of hands, etc.
  4. Has difficulty engaging in imaginative play or lack of interest in playing with toys.
  5. Has trouble with transitions or changes in routine.
  6. Unusual sensory reactions; they can be bothered by certain sounds or textures or the complete opposite and not bothered at all.
  7. Difficulty understanding nonverbal communication; they may not process the actual meaning of facial expressions or tone of voice.
  8. Little to no interest in socializing with peers or making friends.
  9. Understanding emotions or expressing their own emotions can be difficult.
  10. Intense or unusual interest in specific topics or objects; usually it goes beyond what is considered typical for their age.

Again, every child is unique and may not show all these signs or the signs can be more subtle than others. In fact, it’s important to note that autism in girls can be hard to recognize because they might mask their signs by copying others around them.

Early Intervention is Everything!

If your child is having any delays or signs of being autistic, then talk to their healthcare provider. Keep in mind that some pediatricians might chalk it up to kids hitting milestones at different times.

As moms, our gut tells us when something is going on. I felt in my gut that my son’s delays were more than him just hitting milestones late. I think his pediatrician was trying to be reassuring, but instead her assurances could have meant further delays in getting my son help.

Instead, I went with my gut and reached out to Birth to Three who provides evaluations and services to all sorts of children with delays. My son was diagnosed at 18 months old and had access to all the therapies he needed.

Do not hesitate to reach out to qualified professionals or a service in your state like Birth to Three. My son wasn’t crawling, walking, responding to his name, able to hold his bottle on his own…the list goes on.

Early intervention services changed that, and while he still has some delays, he has come amazingly far! I wouldn’t change my cuddle bug sweet angel for anything.

Remember, it doesn’t hurt to get evaluated! It’s better to know one way or another what’s going on with your child rather than putting it off and not knowing how to help them.

Conclusion

Autism signs vary from child to child, but if you have any concerns then talk to your pediatrician or a qualified healthcare professional for an evaluation. Autism is just a new journey for you and your sprout because their brain is developing and processing differently.

With early intervention services and patience, your sprout will learn and grow at their own pace. It’s amazing to watch their progress and see them thrive in their own unique ways.

I would love to know if you found this list helpful or if you have your own story of getting your sprout diagnosed. Comment below or contact me via email hello@sundaeesproutscreations.com

Let’s connect and learn from each other! <3

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