5 Signs That May Indicate The Presence Of Autism In A Child

5 signs that can indicate the presence of autism in a child

It is not strange to hear phrases such as “that child does not relate much to other classmates, he seems almost autistic” or “you are so antisocial and lonely that you seem autistic”. The word autism is often used to indicate all those people who have problems communicating and relating to others, but in clinical terms this is not the case at all.

There are many studies that have shown that this neurological disorder affects boys more than girls, a disease that is diagnosed around 3 years of age. It usually appears gradually and, therefore, the warning signs, if any, accumulate slowly. If you notice them, never forget that the sooner you intervene, the more the treatments will give satisfactory results.

It is also important to remember the hard work you will have to do with a child with autism. A job that takes years to get some improvements, even if it is a disorder that, treated in an early and systematic way, does not represent great difficulties in the life of the person who suffers from it.

Now that we have emphasized the importance of identifying this disorder as soon as possible to start treatment right away, let’s see what are the signs that could indicate that a child has autism.

1. Autism prevents children from relating to others

People tend to relate to each other, but children with autism are distant, even with their loved ones. The lack of relationships is such that their reaction to an angry face or a smiling face is exactly the same.

Children with autism focus on relationships with objects. To them, people do not represent a particular interest and the information they receive from them, whether in the form of words or gestures, is often ignored.

All this leads the child to isolate himself and to exhibit strange and different behaviors from those of children of his age. The faces and expressions of people do not interest him, he does not respond with a smile to someone who smiles at him and does not even feel the need to participate in fun games with his peers. An autistic child is lonely and feels no need not to be.

2. Their emotional reactions are exaggerated

All children throw tantrums, cry or scream under circumstances that we consider normal. For example, if we are in the supermarket and we don’t buy them that sweet they crave so much, they are likely to run away and try to get our attention to change our minds.

Autistic children react quite differently. In a normal situation, they have emotional reactions that don’t match the context. There is no reason that explains their reaction, nothing triggered it, or so it seems.

It is very common for them to even exhibit aggressive behavior towards themselves. For example, banging their heads against the wall or some toy they are holding. Why is this all happening? Perhaps because they are in a place that is unfamiliar to them or because they are surrounded by many people. New and foreign situations can encourage reactions of this type.

3. They suffer from delays in language development

Usually around the age of two, children begin to string together some words such as “baby chair” or “bad cat”, trying to imitate the language of adults. Autistic children, on the other hand, do not start this process on their own until an older age.

This is one of the most important signs, because while the other children around them begin to say their first words, to express themselves verbally, to prepare their vocal tract for communication through stammering, children with autism remain absent and silent. .

This symptom can be severe to the point that some autistic children don’t make any sounds until a specialist, i.e. a speech therapist, begins treatment. In some cases, this is the only way for them to start manifesting normal language skills for a child their age.

4. They exhibit repetitive behaviors and are hypersensitive

Autistic children tend to exhibit repetitive behaviors such as repeating the same word over and over or putting an object in its place multiple times. They can also open and close a drawer over and over again without ever getting tired.

Despite this, repetitive behavior is not one of the main symptoms that indicate the presence of autism in a child, but especially attention must be paid to his hypersensitivity. Children with autism can be agitated by noises, light, smells, colors and any other stimuli.

Their reaction may be what we described in the second point, an exaggerated and apparently unmotivated reaction to a stimulus that, for us, turns out to be normal. It can be a noise that is not too loud, a smell that is not entirely unpleasant or a bright color. All this, for an autistic child, can be a source of stress and agitation.

5. They do not develop non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication is very important, as it accounts for 93% of everything we communicate. This category includes both our movements, such as gestures, and the tone of voice, intonation, etc. Think, therefore, that only 7% of our communication is verbal.

Children with autism, due to their problems in relating and communicating, are unable to develop non-verbal communication and that is why they are not even able to identify it in others. Earlier we talked about how an autistic child responds in the same way to a smiling face and to an angry one. His behavior indicates indifference to non-verbal stimuli.

As a result of this, children with autism usually tend to keep a serious expression that does not suit the festive or relaxed environment that very often surrounds them. They don’t know how to express themselves in words, but they don’t even do it naturally with gestures or, if they do, it is a very primitive communication. For example, they are able to communicate if they want to ask for something, but not to share something that has caught their attention.

If you’ve read this far, you’re certainly interested in the subject, so don’t miss this video made for World Autism Day that explains this disorder more in depth.

Finally, we must point out that these are the typical signs that a child has autism. However, before venturing a diagnosis, it is important to consult a professional. The sooner this disorder is identified, the sooner the most suitable treatment and therapy can be started to improve the child’s condition and have a better prognosis.

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