How to tell if your child has autism- look for the common signs

Each of your child’s milestones are usually met with awe by the whole family especially if this kid is the first in the family or the first ever grandchild.

Parents even excitedly record the first steps, the first crawl or the first stand-alone position.

At certain times however, parents notice something different or something not going the way it should be or not coming if it’s expected.

At the back of your mind, you maybe asking this question, ” Is my child autistic? “

You as a parent, being with your kid most of the time, is the best person to notice the earliest warning signs of autism. You see your child on a daily basis and you know your child better than anyone else and observe behaviors and peculiarities that a pediatrician, in a short visit, might not observe at all.

So, the question “how to tell if your child has autism, ” which maybe ringing in your ears on a daily basis needs to be answered fast!

What are the earliest signs of autism? 

Watch out for early warning signs and seek timely diagnosis and intervention.
Parents usually notice early signs and should seek consultation right away.

 

As early as 6 to 12 months, studies demonstrate that behavioral signs are starting to be noticed for autistic kids.

 

 

If your baby doesn’t do these tasks, don’t hesitate to ask his Pediatrician if something is wrong or better still see a Developmental Pediatrician for evaluation.

  • Make eye contact or look at you when you carry him or smile back at you when you smile at him
  • Reacts to his name, or to the cooing of somebody familiar
  • Follow objects with his eyes or seem interested with things around him
  • Wave goodbye, or use other gestures to communicate.
  • Make noises to get your attention
  • Initiate or respond to cuddling or reach out to be picked up
  • Follow your gestures and facial expressions
  • Play with other people or show interest and enjoyment
  • Show concern if you hurt yourself or experience discomfort

When is the best time to see a doctor to confirm your doubts?

If you spot these developmental red flags in your baby, go see your child’s pediatrician for evaluation as soon as possible.

At 6 months: No big smiles or expression of being happy

At 9 months: No imitating of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions

At 12 months: No response to name and no babbling or “baby talk”; no imitating of gestures, such as pointing or waving bye-bye

At 16 months: No spoken words

At  24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases that are spoken on his own

The importance of early intervention

Your baby may not be diagnosed that early but at least his doctor can follow up his progress on a regular basis.

Usually, a definitive diagnosis is made only sometime on the 18th to the 24th month. This is because some kids may catch up on the 24th month with their delays.

Also, a small number of children appear to develop normally in the first 12 months, and then start to show autism symptoms between 18 and 24 months of age by going through a period of regression. They may have started to learn a few words then stop talking suddenly. Some parents even blame the vaccines given to their kids.

Studies have shown that early intensive treatment started at 18 months, if they are diagnosed at that age, may help to rewire the brain and reverse the symptoms.

There are variations though, like high-functioning children with autism aren’t diagnosed until they start school and noted not to interact well with classmates and teachers, thus are struggling socially.

The Special Education ( SPED ) program as an early intervention

Let me share with you two kids who are in the program at the Romblon East Central School where Pangga ta Ikaw is presently building a therapy area.

Specific interventions are taught in school so kids with autism learn how to focus.
Interventions such as zipping and unzipping are done to develop fine motor skills and to teach how to focus on tasks.

Fritz is a 7 year old boy who started the program  when he was five. He was classified as autism spectrum disorder at school. He had delayed language skills with words that were hard to understand, was hyperactive, with very short attention span and no eye contact.

Teacher Bing, his very dedicated mentor, started to develop his speech so now he speaks clearly but oftentimes still with unintelligible words. He can now sit still for 1 hour in school and is learning to read syllables and write and copy letters and words. His attention though is still in the works because for that 1 hour of sitting in class he needs to be  doing some manipulatives to keep him still.

This school year, the teacher plans to mainstream him in regular grade one.

On the other hand, Heleina is a 14 year old with severe autism who has been in the SPED program for 5 years, so started only at 9 years old,  but could not be mainstreamed to regular school and at present just in the  grade one curriculum.

This only shows that  early intervention is really important  for our autistic kids to develop well.

As a parent with an autistic child, what can you do to help your special kid?

Educate yourself.

Uniquely human
Groundbreaking book on autism
An early start for your child with autism
Kids with autism have an amazing capacity to learn.
Children with autism can excel in school with early intervention.
Describes the Son-Rise program which is amazing!

 .                 

Click the images of the books to see the price.

 

 

 

Read a lot  and learn about autism for you to make informed decisions with regards to treatment options for your child. Always ask questions and participate in all treatment decisions.

Know your child well. Learn what triggers your kid’s challenging or disruptive behaviors and what makes him calm and settled. What makes him stressed out or frightened? If you discover what upsets your child, you’ll be good at solving conflicts , thus preventing struggles and difficulties for him.

Love your child unconditionally and accept him no matter what. Never compare your autistic child with a normal kid, accept him for what he is, otherwise you will always be frustrated with his development. Be happy with his accomplishments, celebrate small successes, and stop worrying about his delays.

Be positive. Know that the future of your autistic child depends a lot on your support with his therapy. There is always help out there for him to grow and develop his abilities.

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

Your autistic child is a gift

Remember your autistic child is not a burden even though taking care of him might be a big challenge with lots of struggles.

He will always give joy to your family especially watching him grow and develop himself.

Let him play with educational toys that will help him enjoy and relax . Calming products likewise,  will help him with meltdowns and sensory challenges.

Build Your Own RobotTangle Therapy Best Seller!Calming Ideas for Autism Pressure Vibrating Sensory Pillow Sirius vibrating massage pillow

Build your own robot        Tangle therapy

His innocence is a gift, his dependence on you will always give you a feeling of being his protector.

Celebrate his developments,  don’t focus on his delays.

We have an advertising relationship with the stores/ business  we link in this post. We'll earn a commission when you shop/sign through our link with no added cost to you.

Join the World Autism Awareness Day

Celebrated every April 2nd , this is a special day declared by The United Nations General Assembly  that acknowledges the need to focus on the enhancement on the quality of life of those with autism so they can become productive members of society and lead full lives.

Your child and your family is one with the other families and the whole world in rejoicing during this special day.  Encourage your whole family to join and have fun!

World Autism Awareness
Every 2nd of April, the world celebrates all children with autism.

 

Do you have a child with autism or know somebody with autism spectrum disorder?

Please share your story with us. We would like to hear from you.

Post your comments below.

 

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Published by

Marita

I am a doctor by profession who had several years of clinical practice as a Pediatrician and General Practitioner. At present, I work as a Clinical Research Assistant in a large university. Pangga ta ikaw remembers fondly a loved one who passed away and making her demise more meaningful. Supporting children with special needs in our hometown in the Philippines through Special Education is our main focus and through this website, we also aim at making everyone realize that special kids need our love and support.

8 thoughts on “How to tell if your child has autism- look for the common signs”

  1. What a wonderful site. I have never personally known anyone who suffers from Autism and I wouldn’t even know what to have looked out for as signs when my children were young. So much insight and I think a very helpful site for parents who do have Autistic children. Site layout is simplistic and easy to navigate. Job well done.

    1. Hi Kerry,

      Thank you so much for the nice comments.

      Lucky for you to have all normal kids.Indeed we tend to overlook things or signs when everything is okey for us, especially for our children.

      I really made my post simple and clear so parents can easily understand what to look for in their kids.

      God bless,

      Marita

  2. Thank you so much for this information. I am a teacher and although I don’t see children of the age you are really describing in the article I really think it is important that this message is communicated to parents worldwide so that the signs can be spotted early. I think there is a stigma around autism that stems from misunderstanding and confusion about the condition, as I feel it is often confused with other conditions.
    I’d love to know what your experience has been with getting the situation diagnosed as I know it can be a struggle sometimes to get people to take you seriously. What has been your experience or that of people you know?

    1. Hi Gail,

      You’re right, the early signs can be overlooked by parents and even Pediatricians, thus it is really important that parents be properly educated. And I encourage all parents to visit regularly their doctors and ask questions if they spot something unusual in their kids. 

      I have a nephew who has been diagnosed with autism. He is now 11 years old but still unable to talk, or rather began to talk with a few words when he was younger, but had regression  and stopped talking. He also has Down syndrome. It’s just fortunate that both his parents are nurses and they do understand and support him all the way.

      Definitely, autistic kids need to be diagnosed as early as possible so they can have proper interventions.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      God bless,

      Marita

  3. This article has a lot of great information. My brother is autistic and I remember him having to have some come over and use educational toys to help him learn. I have a 4 month old and i was wondering if autism can be genetic? And is there any evidence that vaccination can cause autism in children?

    1. Hi Rachel,

      I read this from WiKiPedia. ” Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism is complex and it is unclear whether autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is explained more by multigene interactions or by rare mutations with major effects.[1]” That means it depends on mutations or alterations in chromosomes and more than one gene is implicated for each autistic individual, thus it’s a case to case basis. It doesn’t always follow that if you have it in your family , you will always see it in the next generation.

      Please check out this site for more information.

      https://genetics.thetech.org/o

      Lastly, there have been no studies linking vaccines to autism, it’s more of coincidence.

      How old is your brother now?

      Thanks for your comments.

      Marita

  4. Hello
    I am a special needs educational assistant. I have been working in a special needs diagnostic classroom for close to 20 years. Our classroom services children from grade 1 to grade 3. Many of the children leave our class with a diagnosis of autism. I often wonder why these children have not been diagnosed sooner. Most of them have had bad school experiences and people did not know why or what was going on with their children.
    I liked your article because it focuses on children at a much younger age than the ones I see.
    If people can be educated to look for the signs sooner then perhaps some children will not have to go through so many struggles before getting help and resources.
    Great article! Great topic! Best wishes to you!
    Angela

    1. Hi Angela,

      You must be a very patient person to have worked that long as a special needs educational assistant. I honor you for doing that job. 

      You are right, autistic kids need to be diagnosed really early for them to have early intervention. Parents have a special role in this since they are with their kids most of the time and they are able to observe them more than other people.

      Thanks for passing by.

      God bless,

      Marita

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