I want to preface this article by saying that I am not a medical professional and that the advice I am giving here to others is strictly from personal experience. A formal diagnosis of autism is heavy news, no matter how strong you are. Autism is not something that has a cure nor will it suddenly disappear. With the right treatment options, facing the diagnosis head-on and advocating for your child will help you to give them as normal a life as they can possibly have.
If you know someone that could benefit from reading this, please share it with them. For myself, it was easier to spot these signs as this happened to my third child. Often times, a first born or only child who is suspected to have autism will go longer without receiving a formal diagnosis because parents don’t know what red flags to look for.
Read on to see this list of 7 signs of autism you should never ignore…
My son was a wonderful baby. If you had told me at 6 months of age that he would be diagnosed as severely autistic 12 months later I would have told you that you were crazy. But around the time my son hit 1 year of age, I noticed that he started looking off often, and that he didn’t want to make eye contact with me the way he did when he did before. If I would lay him down to change his diaper, I would see him watching the fan, rather than looking at me. I’d say his name and urge him to engage, but he wouldn’t always respond. This is a sign that will be easier to spot, as sometimes it’s the result of a sudden shift in behavior. (But I will say, my sweet boy has returned and now seeks to make eye contact with me, and it makes my heart melt. I’m a firm believer in the power of early intervention and I cannot preach this enough. Knowledge is power and autism is not something that can be brushed under the rug.)
Lack Of Interest/Can You Hear Me?
When Autism was first said to us from a medical professional, I was more open to the reality of it than my husband was. (Ladies, men and women process things differently, and do not shame your husband if he has a hard time digesting the thought of autism initially.) With that being said, we both thought that despite passing his newborn hearing screening, we should have our son’s hearing checked out again. Per doctor’s request, we were sent to a pediatric audiologist to have thorough hearing tests performed. The reason I’m saying we did this is because our son wouldn’t look when we called his name. Even if we would raise our voices loudly and clearly when calling for him, he many times wouldn’t even bother so much as to look, turnaround, or come to us. And more so, if guests would come to our home, he’d prefer to stay in his room or away from them. I would often wonder, why does he choose to be in his own little world? Once the hearing check came back A-okay, it was then that I realized that instead of him coming into our world, I should try stepping into his. Over time, he has started to engage more with us, but he often prefers to play by himself or entertain himself. Now I just encourage our daughters to play in the area that he is playing, and sometimes when the mood strikes him, he’ll see what they are doing nearby and get curious about it.