High-Quality, Compassionate, & Individualized Care

Recognizing Early Signs of Autism: What Parents Should Know

Recognizing Early Signs of Autism: What Parents Should Know
Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting - Logo

As parents, it’s natural to closely monitor our children’s development and milestones. However, for parents of young children, it’s essential to be aware of the early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Recognizing these signs early on can lead to timely intervention and support, which can significantly improve outcomes for children with autism. At Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting, we understand the importance of early detection and intervention. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the key early signs of autism that parents should be aware of and discuss the importance of seeking evaluation and support if concerns arise.

1. Lack of Social Responsiveness

One of the earliest signs of autism is a lack of social responsiveness. Infants and toddlers with autism may seem indifferent to social interactions and may not engage in typical social behaviors, such as making eye contact, smiling in response to others, or responding to their name being called.

2. Delayed Communication Skills

Communication difficulties are a hallmark feature of autism. Parents may notice delays in language development, such as a lack of babbling or gestures (e.g., pointing, waving) by 12 months, limited use of words or phrases by 16-24 months, or a regression in language skills after previously reaching milestones.

3. Repetitive Behaviors and Restricted Interests

Children with autism often engage in repetitive behaviors or have restricted interests. This can manifest as repetitive movements (e.g., hand-flapping, rocking), insistence on sameness or routines, or intense preoccupation with specific objects or topics.

4. Difficulty with Transitions and Changes

Children with autism often struggle with transitions and changes in routine. They may become upset or anxious in response to unexpected changes or transitions, such as a change in schedule or environment. Parents may notice their child becoming rigid or inflexible in their routines and preferences.

5. Lack of Pretend Play

Pretend or imaginative play is an important developmental milestone that may be delayed or absent in children with autism. Parents may notice their child’s play is repetitive or lacks imagination, such as engaging in the same activities over and over or showing little interest in imaginative play scenarios.

6. Difficulty Understanding Emotions and Social Cues

Children with autism may have difficulty understanding and interpreting emotions and social cues. They may struggle to recognize facial expressions, understand nonverbal communication, or respond appropriately to social cues, such as taking turns or sharing toys.

7. Delayed Motor Skills

Some children with autism may exhibit delays in motor skills, such as crawling, walking, or fine motor skills like using utensils or holding a pencil. These delays may be evident early in development and may persist into childhood if left unaddressed.

8. Unusual Attachment to Objects or Rituals

Children with autism may develop unusual attachments to objects or engage in repetitive rituals or routines. Parents may notice their child becoming overly attached to specific objects, insisting on certain rituals or routines, or becoming upset when these rituals are disrupted.

9. Regression in Skills

In some cases, children with autism may experience a regression in skills, such as language, social, or motor skills, after previously reaching developmental milestones. Parents may notice their child losing previously acquired skills, such as words or social interactions, or experiencing a decline in overall functioning.

Seeking Evaluation and Support

If parents notice any of these early signs of autism in their child, it’s essential to seek evaluation and support from qualified professionals. Early intervention is key to maximizing the potential and outcomes for children with autism. Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting offers comprehensive assessment and intervention services for children with autism, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and parent training. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to providing individualized support and guidance to families navigating the journey of autism diagnosis and intervention.

In conclusion, recognizing the early signs of autism is crucial for early intervention and support. By being aware of these signs and seeking evaluation and support when needed, parents can empower their child to reach their full potential and thrive. At Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting, we are here to support families every step of the way on their autism journey, from diagnosis to intervention and beyond. If you have concerns about your child’s development, don’t hesitate to reach out for help and support by calling (203) 900-4720 and speaking to an Autism and ABA Therapy specialist.

We Believe That Early Diagnosis & Intervention Is Key.