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  • Symptoms

    Often times, parents suspect that something is wrong with their child around the age of a year and a half when it comes to autism. Some of the first signs that a child may have autism may be:

       • Lack of social interaction
       • Little to no verbal and body communication
       • Not as playful

    Some parents may even think that their child has hearing problems as a first sign.

    Some children may appear to be “normal” before symptoms are noticed. In particular, first time parents may end up with a later diagnosis as they do not usually notice something is wrong earlier than parents with children already.

    It is common that autistic children actually develop backwards after already having developed some mental capacity. This “regression” is what usually motivates parents to see a doctor.

    Autism is usually associated with several of the the following symptoms:

       • Slow mental development
       • Hypersensitivity to all senses like hearing, touch, smell, and taste, and sometimes light
       • Repeat movements or tasks with certain things (repetitive behavior)
       • Seem to be irritated or in pain most of the time
       • Unusual obsession with objects or movements
       • Starring off into space and lack of eye contact
       • High pitch screaming as a form of communication
       • Lining up of objects
       • Hand flapping
       • Tip toeing

    Other symptoms that occur in autistic children may be physical, but not always the case and are:

       • Diarrhea, constipation, and digestive problems
       • Vomiting (especially after eating)
       • Sensitivity to certain foods
       • Dark circles under the eyes
       • High fevers associated with (ear infections)
       • Ear infections
       • Seizures
       • Restless
       • Yeast infections
       • Ring worm also known as athletes foot if on the feet
       • Has difficult time falling and staying asleep
       • Night sweats
       • Tempers and/or erratic behavior
       • High pain tolerance
       • Self induced pain (repeatedly hits their own head or hits their arms and hands on objects)
       • Easily bruises
       • Confusingly say words differently that they once knew
       • Rashes

    Some physical symptoms may appear before the mental ones do from age 0-6 months. Noticeable mental symptoms may appear after 15 months, while extreme symptoms like screaming, erratic behavior, and/or seizures may occur after 24 months.

    In many cases of autism, the child may continue to develop backwards from when it’s first noticed to age 5 or even longer in some cases. Early intervention has slowed the regression rate tremendously over the last couple decades as we learn more about this condition. Just one generation ago, many parents gave their autistic children up to institutions out of frustration and hopelessness as very little was known about it then.

    Today, we know much more about Autism and many States and Counties offer programs to assist with early intervention.

    See also:
    Treatments for Autism
    Causes of Autism

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