Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be diagnosed at any given point in life, but it’s often determined in the early stages of life.
As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism can dictate social communication and interactions, and can also lead to repetitive and restricted behaviors, as well as specific habits and interests. Each person living with autism spectrum disorder will experience it differently, but there are common characteristics that likely surface before or after a diagnosis.
Have you noticed repetitive patterns in your adolescent daughter? Are you seeing signs of an autistic child in your toddler? Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most common characteristics of an autistic child to help you better understand your child’s development.
How Do I Know if My Child Is Autistic?
Determining whether your child has autism can start by assessing the early signs, but it’s important to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician. They can help you navigate the signs of an autistic child and give you the proper roadmap to consider if your child is living with a developmental disorder.
4 Common Characteristics of an Autistic Child
Autism spectrum disorder is a life changing disorder. Understanding the common signs of an autistic child can help you gain awareness and improve your ability to recognize a potential disorder and ultimately gain a diagnosis.
If you find yourself asking “Does my child have autism?” based on certain behaviors and demeanors, here are the signs to keep in mind:
1. Difficulties in Social Situations and Social Interaction
By far, the most common characteristic of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder is having trouble navigating social communication and interactions. This can begin in the early stages of life when the baby refuses to make eye contact, and can continue on with age as you notice a delay in more social cues. Autistic children may show these early signs that can impact their social skills over the course of their life, such as:
- Neglecting to show facial expressions and let out emotions
- Not noticing when someone is hurt or upset
- An inability to hold a back and forth conversation
- Difficulty seeing life through someone else’s perspective
- Speaking bluntly without a regard for the emotional reaction
- Interpreting words literally instead of figuratively within conversation
These signs of autism may be difficult to pick up during the initial years of life for your little one, but may be more prevalent around 24 months of age and older.
2. Repetitive Behaviors
Someone living with ASD may display repetitive movements and behaviors as they begin to pick up hobbies and share interests with other children. Repetition can be distinct in social conversation but can also be seen in nonverbal communication during play time and other situations that may not involve interaction with another human being. Autistic children may display the following signs of repetitive movements, such as:
- Focusing on part of an object, such as wheels of a toy instead of the toy in general
- Playing with toys and objects in the same manner every time they’re in use
- Obsessing over specific interests
- Relying on specific routines, and getting overwhelmed or upset if that routine changes
3. Delayed Learning Skills
You may notice a delay in learning skills in the way your child communicates and repeats behaviors, but it can be more generalized as well. Language, movements, cognitive and developmental skills can be a major sign of autism
4. Mixed Behaviors, Expressions and Reactions
In many cases, autistic children are known to have extreme behaviors and reactions in social situations, but also on their own as they become more aware of their senses, or ability to react well to smell, sight, touch, taste and sound, according to AboutKidsHealth:
“Children with ASD may also have unusually strong reactions to one or more of their five senses. For example, some children with ASD may react to bright sunlight. Others are excessively bothered by tags on their clothing or by loud noises. Many children may be bothered by these things, but children with ASD often have a stronger reaction to them.”
Learn About Our ABA Therapy Methods and Programs
Are you still asking yourself, “Does my kid have autism?” A pediatrician can help point you in the right direction and give you the support, resources and screening tools you need to guide your child throughout life and ensure their mental health, wellness and stability.
At Blossom Children’s Center, we use Applied Behavior Analysis therapy to help children navigate developmental conditions and disorders such as autism.
We approach our methodology with ABA therapy based on its proven effectiveness in helping autistic children better understand how to improve language and communication in social situations. This type of therapy is also useful in building independence, enhancing academic skills and decreasing inappropriate behaviors.
If you’re interested in learning more about our therapy methods and programs for your child, reach out to us directly at 248-277-3005.