Most common flags for Autism
Most parents begin to notice differences around 18 months. Some times before and also often after. For us, Autism wouldnt have even appeared on our radar had I not come across it acccidentally online one day. The more I began to look into it the more things fit our son. Again I stress that all autistic indivduals are different however there are some ‘common’ flags that we see among small children with autism. It is also important to note that as research develops the flags for boys and girls can be vastly different. Autistic females are often undiagnosed until their teenage years or incorrectly diagnosed because of how well they can mask their struggles. If you have a female child who you think may have autism it is important to check the common flags in females.
Common flags for Autism in early years:
Doesn’t respond to their name, but doesn’t appear to have any hearing difficulties
Doesn’t point to objects
Not engaging in pretend play. (Feeding teddy)
Lines up toys rather than functionally playing with them
Prefers to play alone
Avoids eye contact
Delayed speech and language skills
Repeating words or phrases (echolalia)
Give unrelated answers to questions
Have obsessive interests
Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
Fussy eater. Sensitive to food textures, smells, etc.
Only interacts to have needs met (get food or out of reach toys)
Avoids physical contact
Common flags in autistic females:
A special interest in animals, music, art
A strong imagination
Loves to arrange and organise objects
Prefers to control play with other children, or play alone
Often mimics peers behaviour to try fit in
Can control their emotions and behaviour while at school but often meltdown when at home.
Sensitivities to sounds and touch - perfumes, clothing labels, etc
Not all autistic individuals will have these flags. If you are concerned in anyway about your child contact your GP or Public Health Nurse who can aid you further. Early Intervention is most valuable when it comes to ASD so it is important to address any struggles as soon as possible, to best help your child.