You may have had a hunch that your child is unique, or someone may have mentioned autism testing to you after spending time with your child. But you want to know: should I get my child tested? Most children exhibit autistic traits before age three, and these can become more obvious as they age. These are the signs of autism you should watch for that may indicate that an autism assessment is in order.
1. No Name Response
If your child does not respond to their name around nine months old, this may be a sign of autism. While this could also be caused by hearing problems or sensory processing issues, combined with other symptoms can indicate autism.
2. Lack of Interaction
Another autistic trait that shows up early on is a lack of interest in sharing objects or experiences with others. Expressions of disinterest can manifest as a lack of pointing or showing items of interest. Another sign is when a child ignores others and seems uninterested in playing.
3. No or Little Eye Contact
Both younger and older children with autism tend to avoid making eye contact or looking at people as they speak. No eye contact alone isn’t an indicator of autism, but combined with the previously mentioned behaviors and traits can be a sign.
It’s important to note that Autism Spectrum Disorder manifests differently in each individual and shouldn’t be ruled out based on the presence or absence of a single trait.
4. Repetition and Routine
Autistic children tend to repeat things: behaviors, words, phrases, and movements. They also need to have predictability and routine to the point of eating the same foods every day or at the same time, having a meltdown over something being out of place or order, or having something new introduced into their environment.
5. Unique Communication
Many autistic children have unique forms of communication. Some are non-verbal or have speech delays, while others may have hyper-developed speech. Some children might talk in a strange tone of voice and sound flat. Others may have difficulty conversing back and forth.
6. Hyper-Focused Interests
Not all autistic children have this trait, but many have intense interests or sole focus on certain parts of toys or objects. They may seem fascinated by numbers or patterns and spend time lining up or sorting toys.
Learning More About ASD Assessments
A professional can help you determine if an autism assessment like the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) or the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS-2) would be helpful to a child exhibiting any of the above signs and behaviors. Typically, an ASD evaluation consists of an extensive collection of medical and behavioral history and observation. Obtaining a diagnosis allows greater access to helpful resources and treatment. Visit WPS to learn more about autism, including information on the latest autism evaluations.
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