What are the early signs of autism?

By October 1, 2018 May 14th, 2023 ESDM

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

What are the three key areas of difficulty in autism?

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

We can detect the early signs of autism in children as young as six months. However, 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

4 steps to take if you see early signs of autism

  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 is experienced in the assessment of young children with autism.
  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.

Choosing the ESDM as an intervention?

Intensive early intervention is the key to reducing the signs of autism. The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is an evidence based model of intervention 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. When OneOnOne Children’s Therapy introduced the model to our clinic in 2013, we were one of the first clinics in New South Wales to provide this cutting-edge intervention. We continue to build a strong team of Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists who are certified in the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM).

If you would like more information, then call our Bondi Junction clinic on (02) 8065 7837 or email us here. One of our certified ESDM therapists would be happy to discuss the intervention with you. You can organise an obligation free meeting with one of our Senior ESDM Therapists to learn more about the program.