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How To Detect Signs of Autism In Children Early On

In recent years, the research and knowledge surrounding autism have increased. And this is positive. Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that largely affects children early in their development. Autism affects communication, social interaction, and behavior too. While each child is different when it comes to displaying symptoms of autism, early detection is vital to ensure autistic children have a great quality of life. Let’s look at how to detect early signs of autism in children as soon as possible.

Minimal to no Eye Contact

This is one of the earliest signs since you will notice early on if your baby is making eye contact with you or not. Infants are expected to be drawn to faces. By the time they are two months old, they slowly begin to connect with their parents. If your baby does not make contact and completely disregards your face, this could be a clear sign they have autism. There are ways to help children with autism cope throughout their lives.

One solution is ABA therapy which is offered by the Lighthouse Autism Center. The Lighthouse Autism Center’s mission is to bring the very best ABA therapy to communities that need it. So far, they have serviced thousands of families across the Midwest and do not plan to stop any time soon.

Delay in Spoken and Language Development

While each child is different and develops at their own pace, children with autism do have a delay in speaking and general language use. As infants, babies will make sounds such as cooing and even babbling.

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This is expected. However, when children have autism, none of these sounds occur. They sometimes only make their first sounds after their first birthdays. But sometimes, autistic children unfortunately never pick up any language skills. To understand child development and early learning better, you can read up on various medical journals and studies.


While overall behavior won’t necessarily point to autism, it’s a repetitive behavior that’s concerning. If your baby has repetitive behaviors such as flapping their hands or rocking back and forth, this could be autism. Autistic children also become fixated on certain objects and find it difficult to move their focus to another object.

Little to no Social Interaction

Here, the biggest cue is that children with autism rarely respond to their names when being called. They also show very little interest in people, especially in social settings. For example, autistic children who are encouraged to play with their peers, even in a pretend scenario, show no interest in playing with other children. They also find it difficult to interpret social cues, facial expressions, as well as tone of voice.

How They Process Sensory Issues

This sign is two-fold since autistic children can either be oversensitive or undersensitive to certain stimuli. These stimuli include light, sound, and touch. Think about it this way. Autistic children might find bright light bothers them. While dimly lit areas offer comfort. This is the same for textures and sounds too.

Limited Progress in Motor Development

Children develop motor skills quite early on and work on them daily. Here, you might find that your baby finds it difficult to grab and hold onto an object such as a pacifier, bottle, or even rattle. Then there is crawling and walking. Again, each child develops at their own pace.

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However, children do learn to crawl quite early on, and on average, children start to walk around on their first birthday. Take a read on fine and gross motor skills in children to understand this development better.

Irregular and Unusual Emotional Responses

Emotional responses can be difficult to detect; however, autistic children do have unusual emotional responses. You might find that your child does not have a reaction to your smile. And you might also find that your child or baby has difficulty expressing their feelings even after you have taught them how to do it.

Difficulty With Transitions

While children should always have a routine if a routine is interrupted, and because children are resilient, they usually just make the best out of the situation. With autistic children, if there’s an interruption in the routine, they become upset, even when you are trying to transition them from one routine to another, so check if they are fixated on a routine.


Sometimes There’s a Regression in Development

Autistic children sometimes display regression in their development. They might have learned something when they were two years old and forgot it by the time they turned five years old. Multiple factors come into play here. Let’s say you were teaching your toddler to eat with a spoon at three years old. But during this time, you also changed their routine, and because they are autistic, the experience was traumatic for them. By the time they’ve reached seven years old, they have no idea how to eat with a spoon.

Little to no Interest in Peers

Autistic children often have little to no interest in building relationships with their peers. They generally prefer their own company and find it difficult to maintain friendships – simply because they don’t understand social cues as their friends do.

These are but some of the signs to look out for. However, you need to make an informed decision, and that means speaking to professionals.

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