Sunday, January 8, 2012

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Autism in Children?

It would seem that the numbers of children diagnosed with autism is going up all the time. This might be because the higher functioning types of autism are just now being diagnosed and understood. Many children who were once labeled as shy and awkward are now being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. The lower functioning types of autism are easier to spot, and they are often not hard to diagnose. A parent that knows more about the symtoms of autism in children will have an easier time deciding if their child needs evaluation or not.

Social Issues: One thing that seems to plague all children with autism is social awkwardness and problems interacting with peers. They don't seem to be able to relate to anyone, have problems with eye contact, and tend to show signs of agitation rather easily. They also seem to prefer to play alone rather than rise to the challenge of making friends. They tend to show no emotional reaction to anything or anyone, and shy away from group activities.

Communicating: Those with autism might start out talking fine, but then regress later. Others have good communication skills. Some do not communicate with spoken words at all. Those with classic autism often use gestures rather than saying words, will repeat words and phrases that they do know, and often use odd phrases that rhyme over and over again.

Stimulus Response: One of the symptoms of autism is a lack of response to many things that others respond to right away. This is something that is often very obvious. They either respond in an inappropriate manner or not at all. Some will not respond to noises or stimulus in any way, which scares parents. Others might be overly sensitive to touch, sound, and even the feeling of clothing on their skin. They may also get lost in patterns and explore with rubbing and licking.

Atypical Behavior: Another of the common symptoms of autism in children is problematic behavior. This might include being completely passive, or being extremely and sometimes violently aggressive. These children often have tantrums. These tantrums might come with the slightest upset in normal routine. These children may be first diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder because they lack any type of attention span. They also demonstrate many repetitive movements, and seem to focus on one thing for a very long time.

Playtime: Though children with autism do play some, they often play on their own. The want to play with other children in many cases, but lack the social skills to maintain or even form friendships. This brings anxiety, and pushes them to play on their own where they feel safe. They may show repetition in play, and might be so focused on something that there seems to be nothing that will drag their attention away from what they are doing.

Though these symptoms of autism in children are often quite obvious, there are some children who hide these well, or function so well in most cases that one symptom might be mistakenly thought to be a different problem at first. If a parent suspects that there are any problems, and that they may have a child with autism, they want to get a diagnosis as quickly as possible. There are many great programs for children with autism. It is much easier on the parent, child, and entire family once a proper diagnosis can be reached.

By Rachel Evans. Sign up for a free newsletter for more information on autistic.In the newsletter you'll find out more about the signs and symptoms of autism.

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