It’s an unfortunate reality that many parents are faced with the task of diagnosing their child. The process can be both frightening and stressful, as it is often difficult to tell if your child has autism.
To make things easier, I recommend a list of home observations that you can do at any time to figure out if your child might have autism.
These observations should never replace professional medical help, but they are a good starting place.
Observation One: Observe your child playing with others. Autistic children often have difficulty interacting and engaging in social situations, so if you notice your kid has trouble making eye contact or actively participating in conversations, it might be a sign of autism.
Observation Two: Watch your child’s reactions to changes in routine. If you notice that when a night-time routine is disrupted, your child has an extreme reaction like panic or anger, it might be a sign of autism!
The next time something goes wrong with the schedule, and they’re present, take note of their response. A sudden change in mood could mean that some underlying issues are going on underneath the surface.
Observation Three: If you notice that your child avoids looking at particular objects or refuses to wear certain clothes, this could be a sign of autism. Some people who are autistic have trouble processing the information in their surroundings and might react negatively to sensory input from one type more than another.
Observation Four: Notice how social interactions go with family members and peers. Does he only interact when it’s on his terms? Sometimes kids with autism will avoid interacting with others by not making eye contact while talking or playing games- even when they’re capable of doing these things normally.
Observation Five: If you notice a steady decline in language development or an increase in repetitive behaviors, it’s time to get your child checked out by a medical professional.
It is not unusual for autistic kids to talk less than non-autistic children of the same age, and this can be hard on parents who want their children to engage with them more. And while many people will repeat words as they learn how to speak new ones, if the behavior persists after speech begins, there might be something else going on.