Autism has become really popular recently. It can cause issues in some areas of development such as communication, social interaction, and behaviour. The first signs of autism can often be noticed during the period of infancy (in the first few months), but also some children can show some of the signs and symptoms of autism later.
Each child can develop different symptoms because autism is a spectrum, but generally, the first signs and symptoms of autism can be classified into two main groups:
• Impairments of social interaction and communication
• Repetitive and restrictive behaviours and interests, including sensory sensitivity (“RRBI”).
The symptoms regarding impairments of social interaction and communication group are usually noticed before the other symptoms appear. Some of the symptoms of this group include: poor eye contact, lack of facial expressions and lack of expressing emotions, inability to start a conversation or keep one going, delayed speech or inability to combine the words into a sentence, does not show interest to interact with other children of the same age and prefers playing on his/her own, does not respond to his/her own name or does not understand some simple questions or requests, may repeat some words or phrases if the can communicate verbally.
The symptoms from the second group are: development of a specific routines and rituals, Performance of repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping, or may perform activities that could cause harm, such as head-banging, constant movement which may include some odd movement patterns such as walking on toes, uncooperative and resistant behavior, unusual sensitivity to light, sound and touch, may become only interested in one object or activity, may have some odd food preferences such as eating only salty food or food with a certain texture.
If you notice some of these signs, make sure you consult with your GP