Red Flags in Autism

We want to discuss some red flags about Autism. As we all know, autism is a very touchy subject. As a speech language pathologist, I’m really not allowed to diagnose or discuss this matter. The only person that makes diagnosis on this kind of cases is a psychologist or a neurologist but I am here to provide you with some tips, some red flags for you to put your mind at ease, if you’re wondering or if you think maybe you know, your child might have autism. It’s something that we don’t like to discuss very much with parents so please keep an open mind.

I’m here to give you some tips and try to be patient with me because I’m super, super pregnant, as you can see and my brain is a bit everywhere.

What’s the first red flag? When a flag does not respond to his name that is a big red flag for us. As long as you’ve checked his hearing and we know that he can hear you, when a child doesn’t respond to his name, it is one of the big telltale signs of autism.

What is another red flag? Some kids start walking on their tippy toes and that’s normal development for children when they start working. They should start walking on their tippy toes after they have been walking for a while. If you’re child is already four, three and a half, four and still walking on their tippy toes that is a red flag.

What else is a red flag for us? Repetitive movements. What do we mean by that? Doing the same thing over and over and over again, like if they rock constantly, arm flapping, if they flap their arms that is also a very big flag for us. Some kids do get excited and you do want to like show your excitement but arm flapping is usually a telltale sign for autism.

One of the largest, largest red flags for kids who have autism is that they don’t communicate. If they have a speech and language delay they are not verbal, they are not vocal that’s also a big part of autism.

When a child has reduced eye contact so reduced eye contact is also major in communication. You want to be able to engage to the child, you want the child to be able to look at you, to have joined attention. What does that mean? That if we’re both doing, and he’s looking at what we are doing, he is paying attention at the activity. Kids that have no attention to a project, nothing really– they lack interest that is usually something that we need to look into.

Besides the fact, that kids have autism don’t speak, at least, at first, it’s read flag of course. With therapy they’ll gain the ability to speak and they’ll be on the right track. Besides the  fact that they don’t speak in the beginning, they actually don’t point and they also have no gestures and they have no desires to communicate, which is a big difference a child who is just between speech and language delay, they are trying and trying, they are trying to communicate and they can’t versus a child that might be autistic that doesn’t point, doesn’t have gestures, doesn’t have the desires to communicate.

Another red flag for kids with autism is echolalia, which is repeating. Instead of them, you tell them, “I want cookie.” They will repeat, “I want cookie. I want cookie.” But it’s not functional and it’s become echolalic. Echolalic it is a red flag for kids who are autistic.

These are just some few little things. Some kids flip the lights on and off or they have repetitive behaviors, such as lining up their toys, they don’t like being touched, they don’t like to be dirty, they don’t smile back, like if a child with autism, where you think he may have autism doesn’t respond back when you smile, when you laugh, like it lacks that gaze of imitating your movement, that’s also a red flag.

There’s a bunch of little things that could be but in order to be diagnosed with autism, you don’t have to this one of these characteristics that we’ve discussed have a whole bunch, it’s a whole checklist, it’s a whole process. What would you do if you think that your child might be at risk you need to talk to your pediatrician abut it. Then you need to make a neurologist appointment and then the neurologist would further discuss with you if there were a test need to be done. Sometimes they do EEGS, sometimes they do different blood tests and they will guide you in the right direction.

Once you go to the neurologist. You will know they will send you the recommended therapy, which is usually speech therapy, feeding therapy if your child is not eating or doesn’t like certain textures, they might be referre you to OT and then series of other kinds of therapies. If he doesn’t behave, if he doesn’t follow directions, he might need behavior therapy.

It all kinds of depends after you go to the neurologist. The best thing that you could is to keep an open mind that everybody involved wants the best thing for your child. We all want your child to get better. We are not here to discriminate against your child. A lot of parents freak out because they don’t want to talk about it and They are in denial about it, but the best thing you can do for your child is to get help as soon as possible.

With that said, if you need anything you can contact us at Miami Speech institute. Thanks!

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