In the beginning, a lot of dads are in deep denial that anything is wrong with their child. Its typically the better half that is pointing out the early sings. They have that mothers intuition and, sorry to say, it’s usually right.

If this sounds familiar, don’t feel bad.

If you’re new to autism, or have a love one that has been recently diagnosed, here are the early signs and symptoms of autism.

Early Sings (1-2 Years of Age):

Avoids eye contact
Doesn’t use gestures to communicate (pointing, waiving, grabbing, etc)
Major mood swings including frequent tantrums
Minimal social skills
Over active, busy body
Lack of interaction with other children
Non verbal by 18 months
Loss of speech, social skills, or eye contact (regression at any age)

Symptoms:

Most autistic symptoms fall into one of the following five buckets:

Social Skills – a lot of autistic kids have issues dealing with social situations including conversational skills, building friendships, understanding emotions, and playing with other children. These symptoms can become more transparent when you introduce an affected child into a new environment, for example a grocery store, busy shopping mall, or playground.

Behavioral Issues – probably the most challenging symptom for parents is the day to day behavioral issues. Some of the most common behavioral issues include tantrums, self-injury, aggressiveness, and destructiveness. It’s common for autistic children to have ticks or engage in repetitive behavior such as hand flapping, rocking or head banging.

Communication Difficulties – communication development is a slower process for kids with ASD. Since autism has such a wide array of severity there is a large spectrum of communication skills. A low functioning autistic child may be completely nonverbal while a child effected with Aspergers may have a vocabulary on par with his peers.

Medical – there are a number of medical issues that coincide with ASD including depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, gastrointestinal issues, sleep disturbances, epilepsy, and attention deficit disorder. There are a number of therapies, medications, and bio-medicine that can be used to treat these symptoms.

Learning Difficulties – kids with ASD often find it challenging to get organized and solve problems. They can struggle to keep their feelings and emotions under control and often have a hard time with change.

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