Many of us have heard the term “autism spectrum disorder” and know that it is an issue. But, what does autism really mean? Autism can present differently in each case, but there are some common signs to watch out for including difficulty socializing with others, performing tasks requiring coordination or planning ahead, limited interests or repetitive behaviors, and resisting changes. The first step is to educate yourself about how you might spot these symptoms so that you can better understand your child’s needs.
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the brain. It’s not just one thing, but there are five signs that may indicate your child has autism. These are:
- The inability to make eye contact with people
- No babbling or pointing by age 1; lack of gestures such as pointing, waving goodbye, clapping, and patting others on the back
- Repetitive behavior or resistance to changes in routines; obsessive interests in unusual objects or activities; no pretend play by age 4 years old (e.g., pretending to take care of an animal)
- Lack of social skills for their age level and difficulty developing relationships with other children their own age; avoiding eye contact with other children when playing together
- Difficulty understanding nonverbal communication,