Autism is a complex disorder that affects brain development and there are a wide variety of warning signs of autism. It can be seen in various degrees but usually starts to affect verbal, social, and cognitive development early on in life. Although there are a wide range of warning signs, here are some of the most prevalent and obvious warning signs of autism.
1. Avoids Eye Contact
From a child’s birth, this can be one of the most obvious warning signs of autism in a child. Usually children will start making eye contact with people within the first few months of infancy. If a child is avoiding eye contact with those around them, it could be a sign of autism. And this doesn't only apply to family members and people the infant is familiar with, this can apply to strangers also.
2. Less Developed Motor Control
Children around the age of 6 months will start to try and grasp objects around them and will be able to hold their head steady. If your child has autism, they might have trouble moving their limbs in a steady motion or might not even move them much at all. Delayed motor development is another one of the big warning signs of autism.
3. Doesn't Respond to Loud Sounds
Most children will cry or act startled when there are loud noises around them. Children with autism will usually not respond to this kind of stimulation. They will most likely ignore loud sounds and act as if nothing happened. This warning sign will usually start to appear around 2 months of age.
4. Delayed Speech Development
Normally developed children usually begin making vowel sounds such as “ah” or “oh” around 6 months and will babble around 9 months. These developmental milestones are delayed in children with autism. They usually will have slower speech and may not begin to make full sentences till much later in childhood.
5. Doesn't Respond to Name
One of the biggest warning signs of autism in children is that they don’t respond to stimuli. A child with autism will usually not respond to their name. Most children will look towards the person speaking or respond in some way to acknowledge their name.
6. Shows No Interest in Games
As children get older, they will take an interest in socializing, playing games, and playing make believe. Most children will take joy in spending time with other children and want to play make believe and use their imagination. If your child has autism, they will usually be disinterested in these kinds of activities.
7. Loses Skills They Once Had
Even if your child has thus far developed somewhat normally, autism may cause them to lose to skills they had previously gained. Usually around 18 months, if your child starts to lose speech, social, or motor skills they already developed, it could be a possible sign that your child has autism.
As far as we know, autism has no cause or cure and it affects around 2 million people in the U.S. If your child has autism, it is important to detect it early so you can help them develop as much on track as possible. What are some other warning sign of autism you know about? Does your child have autism? In what ways did you see your child with autism develop differently?