Autism certainly has become a well recognised learning disability in recent years. There's become more understanding and a lot more awareness. It comes at no surprise that it's becoming very well recognised with at least 1 out of 68 children are living with some form of Autism.
It’s a very complex disorder that effects the child’s development. Autism is becoming more discovered in boys than girls which there are a few types of Autism categorised on the spectrum ranging from severe difficulties, to some children who may be incredibly high functioning.
Here, I have put together 10 most common signs of how to spot a child who's autistic. Some of these symptoms doesn't affect every single child because every individual is different from another.
Lack of eye contact
Children with autism often have difficulty with giving eye contact. This can sometimes change when growing older. Those who have trouble giving eye contact often have hard time using spoken language when communicating. Some children may often forget to give eye contact when in a social environment.
When I was younger, I found it difficult to give eye contact as I often found it intimidating. I couldn't gaze into somebody else's eyes become I felt uncomfortable making that social connection.
Covering ears with hands
This can be when blocking out too much sensory stimuli. When I was younger, I used to hate loud noises, I would cover my ears with my hands. Especially when my mum was hoovering the house. Also when I use a public toilet, I never use the hand dryers because the noise often makes me panic which it still does now. It's the same when I'm in a a busy crowd or I hear a fire engine go by. When we cover our ears, it's a way to lessen the loud noise.
Repeating words or phrases
One of the common tendencies of autistic people, we sometimes repeat what we've already heard in social situations. I often still do that now. If I'm talking to somebody, I mutter and repeat what they say to myself. This happens because the brain’s “language center” has difficulty coming up with language of its own, it copies what it hears from the world around it and uses it in place of original words and sentences of its own.
Walking on our toes
Walking on just your toes may be a learned habit. many children walk on their toes because it's just another unusual, unique way of doing something. Funnily enough, I always used to walk on my toes. I would walk from one end to another of the room showing my family what I could do. They would often cringe and be in shock at how it doesn't hurt. although as I've got, I haven't been able to do it as I'm heavier.
Having difficulty sitting still
This can be caused by hyperactivity and fidgety behaviour. When I'm sitting, I've always got a habit of fidgeting by moving my leg up and down. I think it's just a sensory comfort and something you don't always realise your doing. It's known to be named sensory-motor challenges.
Fixated on certain things
When we think about it developmentally, children look at objects that are visually pleasing – such as rotating objects (fans or wheels) I never used to play with toys. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy it, this was because I'd lose interest. If I was given a book, I'd be more fixated on a tiny picture in the corner rather than show interest on the whole entire book. I was into things more visually.
Trouble with change of routines
This one is the most I can relate to. I've always found staying in a familiar routine keeps me happier and feeling less annoyed. Lack of sleep, I struggle with that, I need my sleep or else I become moody which can turn into a meltdown. I'd rather stay to the same routine and pattern rather than swap and change.
Difficulty in talking
Some children may have trouble talking at all and would rather stay quite and keep themselves entertianed. This comes into socialising. Some may have lack of ability in that area and can only respond to symbols or actions when in situations. Many children struggle with making sounds to form words so they express themselves through giving signals to show how they're feeling.