With autism becoming a growing condition across the nation, families must understand the signs in their young children. Diagnosing a child earlier allows them to begin the necessary social communication and learning development steps.
We’ll be answering the following questions:
- At what age do the signs of autism appear?
- Are you born with autism?
- Can autism go away?
- Do children with autism talk?
- How does a child with autism behave?
- Early signs of autism
At What Age Do the Signs of Autism Appear?
The signs of autism usually appear early in childhood development. This is usually 12 to 18 months but can emerge even earlier for some individuals. Because the most visible signs of autism are behavioral rather than verbal, children can show these signs through expressions, reactions, and movement patterns.
Despite signs in the early years of life, most children with autism don’t receive a diagnosis until after age 3.
Are You Born with Autism?
Yes, autism is a condition that develops in the womb. Despite false claims, you cannot develop autism in childhood or adulthood.
No evidence suggests that the following increases the risk for an autism spectrum disorder:
- Lifestyle or diet
- Abuse, neglect, or bad parenting
- Contagious infection or disease
- A behavioral or mental health disorder
- Temporary childhood conditions
Can Autism Go Away?
No, autism is a lifelong condition. That’s not to say that the symptoms of autism can’t improve, such as developing learning and communication skills. There are plenty of resources to aid individuals with autism to flourish in society and gain greater independence.
Do Children with Autism Talk?
Yes, the vast majority of children with autism eventually talk. One research study from Autism Speaks found that 47% of children with autism became fluent speakers, and 70% could speak in simple phrases.
How Does a Child with Autism Behave?
There’s no one-size-fits-all for how a child with autism behaves. While there’s a set list of signs to look for that allows doctors to diagnose, each child is still unique. This list of common symptoms can encourage parents to have their children tested.
Early Signs of Autism
- Not responding to sounds, voices, or their name by nine months of age
- No babbling or meaningful gestures by 12 months of age
- Talking or babbling in an unusual tone between 12 to 24 months of age
- Does not play simple interactive games (e.g., pat-a-cake)
- No verbal communication by 16 months of age
- Adverse reaction to loud or sudden sounds
- No facial expressions by nine months (e.g., happy, sad, angry, scared, surprised, etc.)
- Avoids or does not keep eye contact
- Resists being held, touched, or cuddled
- Prefers playing or being alone
- Speaks in rhythm or sing-songy voice
- Appears unaware of other peers’ feelings
- Uninterested in playing with others their age
- Doesn’t point at objects
- Exhibiting violent behavior towards others, especially without provocation (e.g., biting, scratching, hitting, screaming, etc.)
- Unusual attachment to one toy or object
- A limited inventory of sounds, words, and gestures for their age group
- Unable to imitate actions
- Difficulty expressing emotions
- Upset by certain sounds, tastes, and smells
- Restricted and repetitive behaviors (e.g., lining up toys orderly, repeating words or phrases, never changing playing habits, following specific routines)
- Becomes upset or minor changes in routine
- Delayed skills (cognitive, movement, learning, and language delays)
- Difficulty paying attention or calming down