Autism Symptoms Checklist
Autism: Symptoms and Characteristics
Much research has been conducted to try to aid the identification of Autism in early childhood. Some clear signs have now been identified that help parents to recognize the symptoms & characteristics of Autism and other possible developmental challenges in their children. Use the Autism checklist below to better understand these possible signs of Autism.
Consider your child in terms of the following behaviors/responses:
- When you call your child’s name, do they consistently turn their head?
- Does your child make direct eye contact with you as much as other children do?
- Does your child look at toys you show them?
- When you play with your child, do they smile at you often?
- Does your child use body language and gestures to communicate with you (e.g. pointing, waving, showing objects and reaching)? If so, do they use eye contact at the same time as using a gesture?
- Does your child exchange sounds (or words) with you back and forth?
Many typically developing children will be using most of these social skills by about age 12 months. However, it is very important to be aware that there is a very wide variety in the way children develop in the first three years of life. Many children who seem delayed at 12 or 18 months will catch up with their peers by 36 months with common developmental milestones and then go on to develop typically. And some children who show significant delays in all of the above behaviors may receive a an Autism diagnosis later in life – if the developmental path remains unchanged.
Signs that may indicate a developmental challenge include:
- An unusual insistence on routine
- A preference for being alone or aloofness
- A resistance to being held or touched
- Spinning objects or unusual sensory interests in objects (e.g. peering at objects, sniffing or licking non-food items, watching objects fall)
- Engaging in repetitious motor movements or activities (e.g. running in circles, flapping hands, lining up objects)
- Repeating words or phrases
- Laughing, crying or showing distress in situations where one would not usually see or predict such a reaction
- No apparent response to verbal instructions despite normal results to hearing tests
- A strong sensitivity to sensory stimuli (sounds, lights, tactile sensations, commotion)
Every child is unique and follows his/her own developmental pathway, and yet it can be very useful for parents to be aware of possible signs of Autism. This offers the best chance to get assistance, step in, and make what could very well be a far-reaching difference in your child’s development and life. If you are concerned about your child’s development, it is important to seek help (see Diagnosis/Screening).
There is no downside to learning how to facilitate a child’s language skills and social development. Developmental pathways are dynamic – that is, they change in response to the social (and physical) environment. You can change the developmental pathway your child is currently following (see Autism Treatment Options).
If you need immediate help or guidance,
contact a Son-Rise Program Advisor today.
What to do if you see early signs of Autism
When you see some of signs of these Autism symptoms or behaviors in your child, it is important to note that in young children, there is a very wide range of what is considered typical development. Your child may not be on the Autism spectrum.
If you are concerned, however, take your child to your doctor and describe to the doctor the behaviors you are seeing. Tell the doctor in detail the kinds of things you have seen in your child that are concerning you.
Many parents who raise concerns hear things like “they’ll grow out of it” or “you’re just being over-protective” when a child is very young (under 3 years of age). However, parents know their children best. (This is a core understanding that every Son-Rise Program Teacher possesses.) Therefore, if you see things that lead you to suspect Autism, be persistent with your doctor until your child is evaluated by someone who can diagnose or rule-out Autism. This process can takes quite awhile, so there is no need to wait for a confirmed diagnosis to begin looking at treatments. Even if your child does not receive a diagnosis of Autism, if you are concerned about their development, then, clearly, your child has some challenges and could certainly benefit from some extra input.
Do your own research (just as you are doing now!). Explore the different treatment options available and follow up with those that make sense to you. The Son-Rise Program is something you can begin using immediately (see Getting Started). It has a proven, long-time track record, is deeply loving, is non-coercive, involves joy and fun, and doesn’t have the downsides (medication side effects, invasiveness, and the child alienation that can come from pushy, coercive, and possibly traumatizing approaches) of some other interventions.