If your child hates to be cuddled and overreacts to light and sound, s/he could possibly be suffering from autism. Read the article to know more on the signs of autism.

Autism Symptoms

Fifteen year old Christopher Boon in the novel ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ hates being touched, cannot tell a lie, or understand metaphors or jokes. He is a whiz at math and enjoys puzzles.The way he goes about dealing with circumstances is very different from that of a normal child. This is because he is suffering from autism. Autism is a brain developmental disorder that begins either at birth or during early childhood. It can seriously impair a child’s life if left untreated. Autism occurs when the cells affecting communication, emotion and the senses do not develop properly or get damaged in the brain. Heredity can also be another contributing factor. The child begins to show restricted and repetitive behavioral signs of autism by two years of age which usually do not go unnoticed by the parents. Symptoms of autism first appear during infancy or childhood and follow a steady unremitted course. Few autistic children live independently after reaching adulthood. Early behavioral and cognitive intervention can help autistic children gain self-care, social and communication skills. However, there is no known cure for this malady. That’s why; it becomes crucial to spot the symptoms of autism early on.  Read the following section below to know more on autism symptoms.

Autism Signs
You must look out for these autism symptoms to have an early diagnosis. 

  • The infant will smile very late. He/she will avoid people’s gaze and may not be particularly attached to his/her mother.
  • The baby usually freaks out when you cuddle him/her and prefers to be left alone.
  • There may not be any non-verbal communication. Neither will he/she use gestures to communicate nor respond to others’ body language.
  • Facial expressions or actions like clapping or waving may not be copied by the child.
  • The child will have great difficulty in getting toilet trained.
  • He/she will show an attachment to unusual objects and may not comprehend you or your actions.
  • The young child may have impaired language development. Owing to poor verbal skills expressing needs becomes difficult for them and they may laugh, cry or show distress for unknown reasons.
  • The child develops abnormal patterns of speech that lack intonation and expression.  The child may also continually repeat words or phrases (echolalia).
  • Direct eye contact with their parents is generally avoided. They may stare at a single object for a long time.
  • Sensory dysfunction is one of the major symptoms of autism. Children with this disorder often display abnormal reactions to sensory stimuli. Their senses can be overactive or underactive. For example – touches may be painful, smells may be extremely offensive, ordinary noises may be grueling or certain colors may be repulsive.
  • Autistic children have increased sensitivity to loud noises and intense lights. A motorcycle or a vacuum cleaner and bright lights may cause the child to cry inconsolably.
  • The child will never initiate a conversation.
  • Many forms of repetitive or restricted behavior are observed in autistic individuals. The forms are classified in the following categories: (1) ‘Stereotypy’ – purposeless movement such as hand flapping or body rocking. (2) ‘Compulsive behavior’ – he/she appears to follow rules obsessively like arranging things in a particular way. (3) ‘Sameness’ – there is resistance to change, e.g., insisting that the table not be moved. (4) ‘Ritualistic behavior’ – the child will perform daily activities in the same way each time, such as an unvarying time schedule and unvarying breakfast. (5) ‘Restricted behavior’ – he/she limits the focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program or toy.
  • The autistic individual may show a proclivity to hurt or injure her/himself like biting oneself.
  • The child has poor judgment and hence always runs the risk of danger when left alone. He/she may run into a busy street showing no signs of fear.
  • They may have a photographic memory or uncanny mathematical ability.
  • He/she doesn’t ask for help or make other basic requests.
  • The child remains indifferent to his/her environment and sometimes doesn’t even respond to his/her own name.
Autism symptoms must be detected on time for the child to get timely intervention which can make him or her live independently in the society.

How to Cite

More from iloveindia.com