The Top Five Autism Signs in Your Child

Updated on July 5, 2018
Ivan Hernandez profile image

Erick is an autistic person who graduated from high school with a regular diploma. He researches autism, science, and technology topics.

Autistic child stacking blocks.
Autistic child stacking blocks. | Source

Facts & Figures

A study conducted in 2014 by the National Center for Health Statistics found that 1 in 45 children in the United States live with autism spectrum disorder.1 That is almost 2.3% of American children. That number is expected to rise as more research about autism is underway. By the end of this decade, I expect around 1 in 39 American children will be diagnosed with Autism.

Why is this number so high? Researchers suspect that part of the reason may simply be that today, there is much more awareness — and therefore diagnosis — of the condition than there was in previous generations.

Initially diagnosed as a mental illness before the turn of the 20th century, research during the last 30 years has finally paved the way for doctors to treat autistic patients. For years, people with autism were ridiculed and put on a circus show, but during the 1990s, new therapies were developed to give autistic children the necessary tools to attend school. Most autistic people never graduate high school with a regular diploma. Only a few of them do, and those few often succeed in life.

There are many signs that doctors and parents look for in children with autism. I will discuss five examples below.

Autism Poll.

Are you, or any of your family members, friends and/or relatives, autistic?

See results

Excellent Book by a Professional Autism Consultant

Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum
Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum

This is an excellent book written by a professional autism consultant who has three children on the spectrum. It's great resource for parents of autistic children everywhere.

 

My Own Version of 2015's Autism Prevalence

This is my own chart representing the current autism prevalence. The 2s represent American Children. Notice that one of those 2s is blue. That blue 2 represents autism. Also notice that there are 45 2s. This represents the 1 out of 45 prevalence.
This is my own chart representing the current autism prevalence. The 2s represent American Children. Notice that one of those 2s is blue. That blue 2 represents autism. Also notice that there are 45 2s. This represents the 1 out of 45 prevalence. | Source

Autism Prevalence and Annual Projected Cost

Autism prevalence and cost (as of 2010)
Autism prevalence and cost (as of 2010) | Source

My Background (and a Disclaimer)

I am autistic myself—but in no way, shape, or form am I a doctor. I've tried my best to research this topic without copying information from other sources. Bear with me here. This is just my opinion, and not anybody else's. If you are seeking a medical opinion, you should go to your doctor for professional guidance. My perspective on this subject may be biased because of my background.

The top 5 Signs Of Autism in Your Child

1. Child Doesn't Play With Other People

Non-autistic children enjoy playing and interacting with other children by the time they reach the age of 2-8 years old. They will play, show affection, and maybe even tussle with each other. Autistic children, on the other hand, tend to prefer being alone. They do not seem to enjoy playing with other children or interacting with adults.

Often, autistic children don't seem to share other people's interests or enjoy playing games. They don't participate in group or family activities, which can be disconcerting to parents. If your child exhibits these kinds of behaviors, you should call a doctor. If the doctor tells you that it's normal behavior, find another doctor.

2. Child Makes Noises to Get Your Attention

Grunting, whining, repetitive vocalizing, throwing food, and banging on the table is perhaps to be expected if your baby is six months old—but not when your child is nearly four years old. This may be another sign that your child is autistic. You can try to reduce these behaviors by not having any items near the table, taking good care of your child, and encouraging your child to use words.

Talking with your child may help, but only after you teach your child some words, first. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying again, and again, and again, and again, and again—as often as you can to encourage your child to speak.

(I should note, however, that some autistic children never do gain the ability to say more than a few words, if any. I'm not at all suggesting that you keep trying to get your nonverbal child to speak; nor am I suggesting that if your child is nonverbal that somehow it's because you haven't tried hard enough to encourage them to speak.)

3. Child Has Trouble Understanding or Talking About Feelings

Whether it's love, happiness, sadness, hate, or heartbreak, many autistic children have trouble talking about their feelings or understanding other people's feelings.

Puberty is a particularly challenging time because hormonal changes can exacerbate an autistic child's behavioral issues. At this age, all children may begin to experience things like crushes, drama with friends, bullies at school, and increasing homework loads. For an autistic child, these issues can be much more complicated to navigate.

Parents may seek help from doctors to mitigate these challenges, and some doctors may start prescribing pills. My opinion is that pills are not a good solution. Doctors may prescribe a new pill in an attempt to fix autism, but then the side effects kick in.

Parents, if your child has communication problems, please talk to them. It will make them feel better in the end. Try to speak to them as soon as possible. Don't let them hide their feelings inside, like soda in a bottle with a pressure of 100 atmospheres.

4. Child Uses Incorrect Grammar or Refers to Him/Herself in the Third Person

Don't get me wrong. A lot of autistic people make this mistake when speaking. For example, instead of saying, "Have you guys met the new therapist at work today?" they say "Did you guys met the new therapist at work today?" and that's totally cool. I get it. It's the natural language of autistic people. They are subject to producing grammatically incorrect sentences, and that's okay. It's the frequency that annoys a lot of people.

There is a common perception that many autistic people refer to themselves in the third person. I can explain that one for you. Third person means using the words "he" or "she" to refer to a person. Take a fictional person, such as a person named John Doe. If he refers himself in first person, he would say "I am playing softball." If he refers to himself in second person, he would say "You are playing softball" (but referring to himself). If John uses third person, he would say, "He is playing softball" (again, referring to himself).

See what I'm saying? Autistic people always love to refer to themselves in third person.

5. Child Is Sensitive to Loud Noises and Bright Lights, and Also Makes Strange Movements

While it is true that loud noises and bright lights can be very irritating for normal people, autistic people can be particularly sensitive to these things because of how their nervous systems have developed. Higher sensitivity to light means that autistic people with no history of seizures may be prone to them, and a higher sensitivity to sound means that they may develop hearing problems down the road.

Autistic children may also exhibit unusual movements. This is often a self-soothing process. These movements can vary unpredictably from bending backwards to bending completely forwards when emotions run high. For some people, it develops in early childhood but dissipates in adulthood. For others, it's a lifelong behavior.

Tips for Parents

If your child is autistic, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Don't give up on your child, even if he/she has severe autism.
  • Don't be afraid to call the doctor if you see any of these five signs. Helpguide.org has a more complete list of signs.
  • Apply for an individualized education plan (IEP) at your child's school in order to get the individually tailored help your child needs.
  • Don't stop fighting for your child's education. Fight until he/she gets a regular diploma. Don't stop fighting for your child's rights.
  • Give your child a gluten-free diet.
  • Finally, don't give up—even if your child has.

Final Thoughts

Autistic people very interesting and complex. People on the autism spectrum are very intelligent and can do many things ordinary people can't. Some have special skills in drawing or art. For others it is writing. Some can do complex math problems in their heads. All I know is that every single autistic person is special and deserves to have a meaningful, purposeful life.

Autistic Teen Explains What It's Really Like

Autism Guide at Every Age

Age 0-2
Age 2-8
Age 8-18
Age 18-22
Age 22+
Monitor their progress
Early therapy is key
Make education plans
Make college plans if your child graduates high school with a regular diploma
Prepare for your child's future in living alone if your child is intelligent and is capable of living independently.
Call the doctor
Have your child develop skills
Plan for the future
Make job plans
Plan for your child to have kids (it's fine if you don't want it to happen soon. Most autistics get married in their late 20s).
Nurture the child
Keep your eyes on your child
Make sure your child succeeds
Manage your child's behavior
If your child behaves great throughout the process, buy a house for him/her.

Update on Autism Prevalence.

In 2018, The CDC conducted a research study on all autistic children and revised their estimates. The results proved that research triumphs over animosity in the US. They found that 1 out of 59 children were diagnosed with Autism, an increase from 1 out of 68 in 2016 and 2014 and an increase from 1 out of 125 in 2008. The findings showed that research, as well as medical advances in autism care, have greatly increased the quality of life of an autistic human being.

Further research is needed in order to complete the genome that makes up the complex mind of an Autistic individual.

Representation on Today's Autism Prevalence.

Here is a representation on Today's Autism Prevalence Across America. This time, there are 59 2's. Notice that red 2? That's Autism.
Here is a representation on Today's Autism Prevalence Across America. This time, there are 59 2's. Notice that red 2? That's Autism. | Source

Reference

1. "New government survey pegs autism prevalence at 1 in 45." AutismSpeaks.org. November 13, 2015.

2. "CDC Increases estimate of autism's prevalence by 15 percent, to one in 59 children" AutismSpeaks.org. April 26, 2018.

Final Notes.

All names have been changed to protect peoples' identities.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Erick Hernandez

    Comments

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      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        8 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        Thank you, nurtaz. Note: You need more practice in english, but you understand the article pretty well.

        Cheers

        The Autistic Kid.

      • profile image

        nurtaz 

        9 months ago

        hello!

        I'm from Bangladesh,

        well thought for autism!

        An excellent Article in autism. Really, it doesn't mean disability. It means difference among us. we should try to understand the autistic one.

        take care of you.

      • profile image

        Dabby Lyric 

        11 months ago

        Miami seems cool.

        Yes, I believe that I did read it or at least it was about you wanting to see her in concert but financial restraints preventing you from going?

        Thanks, I dig my name too. Very sweet of you to say such kinds things about the name.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        11 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        I'm from Miami. It's pretty cool that you're from Los Angeles. Same city that Sabrina Carpenter lives in. However, she's got tours all over the world. Have you read my Sabrina Carpenter Article? I'm planning to make a second article about Sabrina carpenter after tomorrow. On that day, I'll be busy with a tribute to Sabrina Carpenter on Twitter and YouNow.

        I think your name is very sweet. It makes flowers bloom and trees dance in the sunlight. It's such a pity what the city has gone through the last week and a half.

      • Dabby Lyric profile image

        Dabby Lyric 

        11 months ago from US

        Hey, I'm from Los Angeles.

        Sweet story!

        My Mom got my name from Cher then added the Reese after a family that she knew. It was their last name.

        That's why I love Reese's lol just kidding.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        11 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        My mom named me after her brother, who lives in San Francisco.

        She would call me "My Little Prince"

        Unfortunately, she's a little bit complicated, so there's that.

        She speaks Spanish, French, and a little English.

        I learned English in Pre-school. She would tell others that I learned the alphabet in one day, but that's exaggerating.

      • Dabby Lyric profile image

        Dabby Lyric 

        11 months ago from US

        I get it now lol.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        11 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        I'm sorry, Cheresse, but Erick is a unique variation of Eric. There are more people named Eric than there are people named Erick.

      • profile image

        Dabby Lyric 

        11 months ago

        Hello again,

        Thanks for explaining the Origins of the name. I'm used to seeing it spelled Eric in the US. I'm fascinated with names. Mine is Chereese.

        You are welcome and take care.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        11 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        Erick is not unique. It's actually a common name. It's either of Russian or Spanish origin.

        Secondly, thank you for this comment. It's hard to find articles about Autism.

        Thanks Dabby Lyric. Have a wonderful time. And have a wonderful holiday.

      • Dabby Lyric profile image

        Dabby Lyric 

        11 months ago from US

        Hello Erick,

        I like your name first off, very unique.

        Secondly, Great Hub! I knew that Autism was prevalent but learning about the early signs was new to me. I applaud you for shedding light on this topic. It is important information that should be passed on.

        Thank you and take care!

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        14 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        I know. Autism is very prevalent, even in the United Kingdom. Third World countries don't have that luxury, because Autism hasn't been researched yet.

      • melbel profile image

        Melanie Palen 

        15 months ago from Midwest USA

        Very interesting! I didn't realize that autism was so prevalent.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        16 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        Thank you, Poppy, for this great comment.

      • poppyr profile image

        Poppy 

        16 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Great article, and useful for those looking for help with their potentially autistic child. Well done.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        16 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        Amy. I think we could follow each other. It's beneficial for both of us. However, your Hubberscore is of concern. It's less than 60, and I'm worried that it might lower my overall Hubberscore. However, given the fact that we're both Autistic people, I think that we could use a symbiotic relationship (not dating because, obviously, you have a husband who's also Autistic) and learn from each other. You could learn a thing or two about me.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        16 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        Thank you, DLayne for your wonderful comments. What you said made me feel better about how this article will do in the future.

        As I write this, I'm only focusing on this article because I think that it has great potential. Generally speaking, I don't think that even I could've written this article myself. It was through the work of HubPro that enabled this article to go to this website. I hope it stays that way.

      • DLayne profile image

        DLayne Lawson 

        16 months ago from Cincinnati, OH

        Well written in an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand format. I think that you did an excellent job at putting together this article.

      • brutishspoon profile image

        Amy 

        16 months ago from Darlington, England

        I don't spend much time promoting may articles as I write them more as a pass time than as a money making project. When I was more active I could make $10 to $20 a month off just a hand full of articles. This was on another site that is no longer active though.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        16 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        You're right, Amy. Autism doesn't mean disability. It just means that we are different. I understand that non-autistic people might not understand us. Me, I just keep my autism as best as I can to myself. To date, there's only 18 normal friends I talk to about my condition. Most of my friends are either family or high school friends--normal and autistic.

        There's a person with Aspergers in the group home where I live. I rarely talk to him, though. I only talk to more intelligent Autistic people, people that are willing to talk to me.

        I hope this helps out. I just wanted to make a quick note. I saw your profile, and I have a few questions. How could you have over 100 articles, but only have between 1,000 and 10,000 views in a little over 3 years? Just asking.

      • brutishspoon profile image

        Amy 

        16 months ago from Darlington, England

        As we know we are different not just from none autistic people but from each other. All Autistic people are unique and not all of us show visible signs of it. I like the fact that I can hide it if I need to, but in recent years since learning to understand who I am I have come to embrace it and find it easy to talk to my colleagues and others about it.

        I agree with you about our personalities.

        By the way I can talk about anything for hours and that annoys some of my none autistic colleagues.

        We are the proof that Autism does not have to mean disability.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        16 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        Amy, I'm sorry if I didn't give a more thorough explanation. What I meant to say was that individuals with HFA are more likely to be successful at math, science, or astronomy than non-autistic people. The fact that you were one of those people that voted in the poll suggests that you are at least aware that you are autistic. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Autistic people are far more beautiful (in terms of personality) because of their child-like nature than non-autistic people. I hope you find that useful.

      • Ivan Hernandez profile imageAUTHOR

        Erick Hernandez 

        16 months ago from Maintaining The Ivan Brand in Total Nonstop Ivan

        Thank you for the comment.

      • brutishspoon profile image

        Amy 

        16 months ago from Darlington, England

        I voted that my whole family are autistic. This is because me and my partner are HFA and my eldest daughter is also. My mam shows signs that she is to.

        Most of my friends when I was younger were autistic and my eldest's best friend has it alongside turrets.

        One of my things was rather than rock back and forth I would and still do shake my arms from the elbows. I struggle in certain lighting and have problems with certain smells but noise is not really a problem for me.

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