How Parents Can Monitor Children for Early Signs of Autism

The many challenges associated with autism often translate to academic difficulties and trouble making friends. Children may become frustrated when they have trouble expressing their needs and wants, and parents may also experience frustration when coping with behavioral challenges. Fortunately, the clinically proven techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy can help, and the earlier intervention is sought, the better the outcome is likely to be. Parents should be aware of the potential indicators of autism and have their children evaluated by an autism specialist if need be.

Smiling Mixed Race Little Boy Caucasian Black Head Shoulders

Social Interactions
Many youngsters with autism have difficulty interacting appropriately. Young children may not enjoy being touched or cuddled. An infant may not reach out to be held, for example, or he or she may not smile and make eye contact. Babies with autism may not mimic facial expressions and movements. By the time a child reaches his or her first birthday, you might notice that he or she doesn’t make gestures such as pointing and waving. As the child grows older, he or she may not engage in pretend play and group play, and he or she may prefer to play alone.

Communication Deficits
Communication deficits are a common sign  of autism. Consider having your child evaluated if he or she doesn’t laugh by six months, doesn’t babble by nine months, or doesn’t speak a word by 12 to 14 months. Children with autism may not speak two-word phrases by 24 months. As the child grows older, he or she may say the same phrases repeatedly and out of context. He or she might have trouble expressing preferences, may speak in an atypical tone of voice, and may not understand abstract language.

If you’ve noticed any of these potential indicators of autism in your child, schedule an assessment with the autism specialists at  The Behavior Exchange . Our location near Plano is a child-friendly environment where your little one can learn how to interact with peers and build academic skills. Contact us at (972) 312-8733 and ask us about our one-on-one and group therapy sessions.

Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA

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