Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects around one in every 100 children in the United Kingdom. It can present in many different ways, and impacts every child differently. So what indicators can you look out for when it comes to autism in young children?
In very young children, the signs of autism can include: avoiding eye contact, not responding to their name, or not smiling when you smile at them.
As well as this, other indicators may be an extreme reaction when the child does not like a certain taste, smell or sound, repetitive movements such as flapping hands, or repeating the same phrases.
Not every child is the same, and most will not present all of the possible symptoms associated with autism.
It is also important to remember that boys and girls with autism may show very different symptoms. Girls, according to NHS advice, may be quieter and more able to hide their feelings and navigate social situations.
Diagnosing Autism in Young Children
A diagnosis of autism can be worrying, but in most cases it is the best thing to give your child the help they need as they progress in life.
If you suspect that your child might have some of the signs of autism, it is best to speak to a medical professional. This may be your GP, a health visitor for children under 5, or special educational needs staff at your child’s school.
If your health care provider deems it necessary, they will refer your child for an autism assessment. This exam will be conducted by an autism professional, and is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis.
Within this assessment, you may be asked in detail about the problems your child might be having. As well as this, the assessment team may watch how your child interacts with other people and speak to the people who know your child well.
Getting a diagnosis can be an excellent way to understand the needs of your child and receive support for parents and carers.
Bright Futures Care
At Bright Futures Care, we offer support for children and adults with learning disabilities and autism as well as behaviours that challenge. Our specialist education and residential care can offer round-the-clock support for young people with autism.
Moving to a specialised care or education environment is never an easy choice. That’s why we are here to help the transition; we want to make the process as easy as possible.
Find out more about our care options by visiting our website or by contacting our friendly team.