Early warning signs of autism

There are many early warning signs of autism and caregivers, teachers and parents need to familiarize themselves with this list.

Many warning signs appear from as young as 3 months but these are often ignored.  I know this because I am a mother that ignored the early signs.  My husband and I used to say:  “how cute is she and so stubborn, she has her own little ways and personality and who needs to wave in any case? Why is waving so important?   This eventually turned into:  “gosh but she is such a good baby – she can play independently for hours …”  Friends used to wish that their children would be as good as ours .  Our excuse was always the same:  “she is just a baby leave her she will grow out of it.”

It took us 3.5 years to get her diagnosed and we literally wasted 3 years of our daughters life because we where not prepared to see what was right in front of us all along or maybe I should rather say that we where ignorant.  We did not know what Autism was and we did not know what the signs of Autism was.

Do yourself, your children or your students a favour and get to know what the early warning signs of autism is because statistics are that 1  in 68 children as diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

  • Not pointing or following an adult’s pointed finger
  • A child that does not respond to his/her name being called
  • A lack of babbling noises
  • General speech delays or a total lack of speech
  • A loss of words, skills or social connections at a young age
  • Lack of other gestures like waving goodbye or reaching up to be picked up
  • Lack of interest in shared activities or a clear lack of interest in forming relationships with other people/children
  • Repetitive actions or movements like spinning
  • Limited play skills and a disinterest in a variety of toys and/or not playing with toys in a creative or appropriate way
  • Limited set of interests e.g. will only be interested in watching specific programs or playing with specific toys
  • A bigger fascination with object than with people
  • A child that does not mimic sounds or behaviours
  • Eating difficulties or gagging when textures of foods change
  • Sleep disturbances or lack of sleep

Remember:  “the earlier a child is diagnosed the better the outcome for the individual”

Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.