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What are the early signs of autism?

The early signs of autism can vary significantly from child to child. What is important to know is that all children who have an autism spectrum disorder will have some level of difficulty in these three key areas:

  1. Using verbal and non-verbal communicating
  2. Socialising and interacting with people around them
  3. Having repetitive and restricted interest and behaviours

The early signs of autism can be seen in children as young as six months, but most children are not diagnosed until they are about 3 years old.

The early signs of autism can include:

  • Reduced response to noises and people around them
  • Limited eye contact
  • Not responding to their name
  • Not calling out or making sounds to get your attention
  • Aren’t sharing smiles with you
  • Not imitating your facial expressions or actions
  • Limited pointing or using other gestures such as waving to people
  • Using repetitive behaviours such as hand flapping
  • Using toys in an unusual and repetitive way, such as lining them up, instead of playing with them appropriately
  • Obsessive interests in particular toys, books or videos

If you are concerned that your child may be showing early signs of autism then these are the 4 steps you should take:

  1. Download the ‘ASDetect’ app, an evidence based free app from LaTrobe University that helps parents to determine if they need to have their assessed.
  2. Speak to a professional who specialises in the treatment of young children with autism.
  3. Book an assessment with a paediatrician or psychologist who will assess for autism using the ADOS-2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale)
  4. Start intervention.

Don’t take a ‘wait and see’ approach. Don’t let other people tell you everything will be fine because ‘he’s just a boy’. If you feel that your child may have early signs of autism, then act on it now.

Intensive early intervention is the key to reducing the signs of autism. The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is an intervention model for young children with autism. It aims to target the key features of autism for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. OneOnOne Children’s Therapy is the one of only a handful of clinics that can provide this cutting-edge intervention in New South Wales.

OneOnOne Children’s Therapy is located in Bondi Junction in Sydney. Our team of therapists is trained at the highest levels of fidelity so we can improve children’s lives. If you want to find out more about the ESDM, then call our clinic on (02) 80657837 or email us.

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