As the mother of an autistic child, nationally recognized autism […]
As the mother of an autistic child, nationally recognized autism advocacy expert and author of The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up For Your Child with Autism or Other Special Needs, Areva D. Martin, Esq., shares her hard-won knowledge about the early signs of autism:
From birth to 5 years, a child should be reaching playing, learning, speaking and action milestones. In addition, there are some common characteristics that parents should know may indicate autism spectrum disorder. If a child’s behavior matches these characteristics, this is not a diagnosis. Instead, it is a sign that parents should seek out a comprehensive diagnosis for the child.
• Fails to respond to his name
• Fails to give or maintain eye contact
• Prefers being alone and retreats into his own world
• Appears unaware of what’s going on around him
• Starts talking later than his peers
• Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm
• Repeats words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand their meaning or proper use
• Begins to talk and form sentences but suddenly loses ability to speak
• Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand flapping
• Becomes overwhelmed with loud sounds or noise
• Develops specific routines and throws tantrums when they are broken
• Engages in self-injurious behaviors such as head banging
For online resources and additional information, visit Martin’s site, Special Needs Network. You can also find out more at The Autism Society or autismspeaks.org.