How Parents Can Recognize Autism Symptoms in Children
by Rachelle Wilber
Every parent wants nothing but the very best for their child. When a parent begins to experience that sinking feeling that something might be atypical about their son or daughter, it can feel like their whole world has changed in an instant.
Diagnosis and Treatment
While an autism diagnosis might come as a shock to a parent, it doesn’t need to be a negative event. Many individuals with autism lead successful and wonderful lives, especially thanks to advancements in psychology and medical science. However, it’s best that your child is diagnosed as soon as possible so they can begin the treatment that will be essential for their success and well-being. Here’s how parents can recognize autism symptoms in their children.
Your Child Doesn’t Respond or Responds Slowly When You Speak to Them
One of the biggest signs of autism is a child who seems to not hear you when you speak to them. Either they completely ignore you or you need to address them multiple times before you finally get a response. Many parents erroneously believe that their child is doing this deliberately, when in fact it is often a symptom of their undiagnosed autism.
Your Child Doesn’t Like to Play or Make New Friends
Kids are generally very social and eager to play with others and make new friends. Autistic children struggle with socializing. Unfortunately, many parents fail to recognize this behavior as a symptom of autism and just chalk it up to their child being “shy.” While it’s true that the world is full of non-autistic kids who are just genuinely shy, it’s a good idea to have your child evaluated if they routinely fail to engage in play with others, especially if they fail to bond with other children that they see on a routine basis.
Your Child Avoids Hugs, High Fives, and Cuddles
Autistic people are very sensitive to stimuli. While most children love being snuggled by their parents or hugging new friends, the feeling of being touched can be tortuous to an autistic child and trigger severe anxiety. If your child routinely jerks away when you go to cuddle them or pick them up, it could very well be a symptom of autism.
Remember, none of the symptoms here serve as a guarantee that your child might be in need of autism therapy. However, it’s better to know for sure than it is to play guessing games and put your child’s health at risk. If you suspect your child might be autistic, talk to your doctor as soon as possible about having them evaluated.
About the Author
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700
*Photos courtesy of Rachelle Wilber