Autism spectrum disorder can appear in children extraordinarily early, but many miss the symptoms thinking that they have an easy baby or being first-time parents who don’t know what a child’s development is usually like.
Beyond this, autism is genetic, so if multiple generations of babies act the same, someone might not notice that autism is why. These are the top symptoms of autism in a young child, and what you can do with this information.
It’s Difficult to Get Eye Contact from Your Baby
Although it may feel like eye contact is something that has to be taught: in most infants and young children, eye contact is natural and immediate.
For a child with ASD, it’s far more likely that they’ll avoid eye contact, even before they can start verbalizing. This is something that they’ll struggle with for most of their life unless you can seek out help from an ABA therapy clinic.
They Don’t Seem to Laugh or Smile.
The cliche of a laughing baby boy or girl to show health is something that has been perpetuated for hundreds of years, but children on the spectrum are far less likely to have laughter and smiling be a part of their daily life. It’s not that they aren’t happy; it’s just that they’re still trying to figure out what the right reaction to things that surprise or delight them is.
Limited Use of Gestures like Show and Point
Gestures like show and point are some of the earliest forms of communication we have. They allow small children to welcome us into their world and show us what they want, need, or are thinking about. Unfortunately, children with autism are less likely to experience this and are more likely to struggle with connecting in this way.
They May Struggle to Verbalize
Verbalizing is something that everyone learns to do at their own rate, so if your child takes a little longer to understand it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re on the spectrum.
However, most children figure this out and are comfortable vocalizing to communicate needs by the time they’re nine to six months old. Unfortunately, for children with autism, it’s not as natural of a response.
Refusal of Many Types of Food
Being picky about food is a big sign of autism that many parents just pass off as a ‘fussy baby.’ Pay attention to whether your child will try multiple foods or if they limit their diet and refuse to eat large food groups.
This might not be fully noticeable until they’ve started dry cereal, but it’s a good indicator that they might have autism.
ASD Is Something That Affects A Family’s Entire Life
We want the best for our children, but fear and misunderstanding can leave us worried when we find out our children may have autism. Instead of allowing worry to consume you, take the time to research it, talk to professionals, and take this one step at a time: your child is still an amazing individual, and you have a lifetime to get to know them.