How do I know if My Child Has Autism?

Autism is something that many people worry about as it has become much better known than it used to be. There are many developmental norms and many parents wonder if their children fall inside of these norms or if they are autistic. This is a normal thing to worry about, but remember, as a parent you cannot diagnose autism on your own. Even if you think all of the signs and symptoms are there, you need to make sure to get a professional opinion. As parents we are always worried and often paranoid about our child’s development, especially when we think about conditions such as autism, and our paranoia can lead us to become more worried than we need to be.

What to Look for When You’re Worried About Autism

Autism is much rarer than most parents realize, but if you are worried that your child may have autism you should look for the following symptoms:

∙ Child avoids cuddling or touching
∙ Frequent tantrums
∙ Child has abnormal attachments to specific objects
∙ Child does not maintain or will not maintain eye contact
∙ No fear of danger
∙ Over or under sensitivity to pain
∙ Sustained abnormal play
∙ Abnormal motor skills
∙ Inability to respond appropriately to teaching methods and verbal cues

If your child has some or even all of these symptoms it does not necessarily mean that your child is autistic. If you suspect that your child is autistic you should bring them to your general practitioner or pediatrician and talk to them about your concerns. Your doctor can often determine in a matter of seconds or minutes whether or not your child is autistic. If the doctor has any question as to whether your child is autistic, they will send you to a pediatric neurologist or autism specialist who will work with you and your child to determine if there is a case of autism and if so, how it can be treated.

Just about every parent worries at one time or another if their child is autistic. The good news is that most children are not and they are simply going through a stage where they do things that make us wonder. Children are not carbon copied out of a textbook, they develop at their own rate and in their own way, so just because your child does or does not do something at what is considered a “normal” time doesn’t mean that they are autistic. Remember, if you are that worried the best thing you can do is to contact your doctor and have your child evaluated, chances are your doctor will tell you that you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

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