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Doctor insights on: What Are The Signs Of Autism In A Child

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What are the earliest signs of autism in a child?

What are the earliest signs of autism in a child?

Some early signs are: decreased eye-to-face gaze at any time & ABSENCE OF social smile by 2 mos., reciprocal gooing & cooing by 4 mos., raising arms to be picked up & babbling @ 6 mos., imitating " pat-a-cake", etc. & consistent turning to name @ 9 mos., responsive wave "bye" @ 10 mos., & pointing with index finger for wants @ 12 mos. Having bizarre jargon (e.g., "digga-digga") is also a clue. See firstsigns.org. ...Read more

Dr. Johanna Fricke
623 doctors shared insights

Autism (Definition)

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting three areas: abnormal socialization, communication, and restricted interests with repetitive patterns of behavior. It is usually detected in the first two years of life. Cause is unknown but strong evidence points to an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Patients with autism may display significant delays in certain developmental areas while having normal or superior strengths in other developmental or learning domains. The severity of the disorder is highly variable ...Read more


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Is it possible that a child, almost 3, suddenly start showing signs of autism?

Is it possible that a child, almost 3, suddenly start showing signs of autism?

Yes, possible: It is possible for a 3-year-old child to start showing signs of autism. Please get the child in to see his/her pediatrician. There are also child psychiatrists and behavioral pediatricians who can help too. ...Read more

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What are the signs and symptoms of a child with autism?

What are the signs and symptoms of a child with autism?

Core symptoms &: observable behaviors in a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder are qualitative impairments in reciprocal social interaction & social communication + stereotyped, repetitive movements &/or narrow, restricted areas of interest. Behaviors are compared to norms for the child's chronological & developmental ages. See firstsigns.org for the M-CHAT, age 16 mos.-4 yrs. & autismspeaks.org for specifics. ...Read more

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Docs, could a child, almost 3, suddenly start showing signs of autism?

Docs, could a child, almost 3, suddenly start showing signs of autism?

Not likely : There are usually some signs prior to that age even if they are very subtle. There can be situations in which a child appears to have completely normal development and something triggers a regression. Sometimes the parents are able to identify what they feel is the trigger and other times not. If there is any abnormal development , no matter the suspected cause, it is critical to intervene now. ...Read more

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If a child is showing signs of autism at an early age, 17 months, does that mean they are more likely to be on the more severe end of the spectrum?

Not necessarily: I find 17 months towards the later end of showing some suggestive findings. Autism is not all one entity although we tend to lump them together under one name. Most will develop many skill sets that might seem unlikely when first diagnosed. Cautious optimism should be maintained as you work with those that will provide needed therapy and direction down this unpredictable road. ...Read more

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Is it possible a child with high functioning autism would show signs until close to 3 years old?

Is it possible a child with high functioning autism would show signs until close to 3 years old?

It's possible that a: Child with autistic spectrum disorder who acquires a large vocabulary but doesn't use it for age-appropriate reciprocal social i communication & has overdeveloped pattern recognition & rote memory is perceived as being precocious in developing preschool skills, while his non-compliance for non-preferred tasks, perseveration in preferred tasks & stereotypies are perceived as personality traits. ...Read more

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Is it really true that an older child still walking on his tip toes is a sign of autism?

Is it really true that an older child still walking on his tip toes is a sign of autism?

Not necessarly: Walking on tip toes could be due to a brain condition like cerebral palsy, local condition like short achilles' tendon, muscle problem etc. Best would be to have your child evaluated by an experienced pediatric neurologist. ...Read more

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At the age of four the child still walks on his tip-toes ... I know that's not normal could it be a sign of autism..

At the age of four the child still walks on his tip-toes ... I know that's not normal could it be a sign of autism..

It could be a sign : Of a problem but does not have to be. Some kids are idiopathic toe walkers. Are there any other signs of developmental delay? Try putting heel lifts in the shoes, but would recommend a neurology consult. (pediatric neurologist). ...Read more

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How do you get a child tested for autism if everyone, including doctor's refuse? My child has the signs and symptoms.

How do you get a child tested for autism if everyone, including doctor's refuse? My child has the signs and symptoms.

Get another doctor!!: Your concerns must be addressed; to be dismissed by your doctor is concerning. Your child should be appropriately tested and a referral to a specialist is warranted. Persevere, early treatment can be very helpful. ...Read more

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Is "avoiding eye contact" a sure sign of autism? Or could it be a normal thing for 1.5 years child?

Could be normal: As they say, there are no "pathognomic signs" -- nothing which definitively establishes that a person has this or that disorder. So it could be normal; it could be not normal but not autism; or it could conceivably be autism. However, it would be unwise to be concerned that avoiding eye contact alone, as an isolated feature, points to autism, when it may be, as you suggest, nothing. ...Read more

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Dr. Johanna Fricke
516 doctors shared insights

Autism Spectrum Disorder (Definition)

Autism spectrum disorder, also called pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), is a type of condition that includes life-long impairment in the ability to communicate and to have normal social interactions. These include ...Read more