Early Signs and Symptoms of ASD
Children and adults with ASD often struggle with communication, social and emotional skills. They might repeat certain behaviours and avoid changes in their daily activities.
Many people with ASD also have different methods of learning, paying attention or reacting to certain things. Signs of ASD typically start from an early age and last throughout a person’s life. Below is a list of signs and symptoms.
- Typically, won’t point at objects to show interest
- Not looking at objects when other people point at them
- Not showing interest in other people or having difficulty relating to other people
- Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone
- Not understanding other people’s feelings
- Prefers not to be held or cuddled
- Appears to not hear when people are talking to them but responds to other sounds
- Be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
- Having difficulty in expressing themselves or their emotions
- They will not play pretend games (for example: pretending to feed an imaginary farm animal)
- Repeat actions over and over again
- Has trouble when a routine change
- Have unusual reactions to the way things look, smell feel or sound
- Lose skills they once had
The Risk Factors
There is an undeniable rise in the cases of children diagnosed with Autism, at this point, it is still unclear whether this is due to better detection of autism or a real increase in the number of cases, or even both. ASD affects children of all ethnicities, nationalities but certain factors increase a child’s risk. These may include:
Your Child’s gender: Boys are 4 times more likely to develop ASD than girls
Family History: Families who already have a child with Autism stand a higher chance of having another child with autism. It’s not uncommon for parents who have an autistic child to be facing social, communication difficulties themselves.
Other Disorders: Children with certain medical conditions have a higher than normal risk of autism spectrum disorder or autism-like symptoms. Some examples include Fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome and tuberous sclerosis.
Extremely preterm babies: Babies born before 26 weeks of gestation may have a greater risk of developing autism.
Parent’s ages: There may be a link between children born to older parents but more research is required to establish this link accurately.