Autism symptoms: Three behavioural signs to watch out for – ‘crucial’ to get checked out

The National Autistic Society outline common autism traits

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You’re born with autism and it can first appear when you’re very young. Autism isn’t a condition with treatments or a “cure”. However, some people may need support to help them with certain things. Here’s how to spot three behavioural signs.

People who suffer from autism may only show certain signs.

As people who are not autistic can also show some of these signs, it’s “crucial” to get a professional evaluation, according to Autism Speaks.

The signs are usually divided by age into ones that can be spotted in children and adults.

These three behavioural signs are not age-specific and can appear at any time.

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These are the three behavioural signs that could signal the condition:

  • Preference for being alone
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • “Unusual and intense” reactions.

“Unusual and intense” reactions mainly happen in relation to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and colours, Autism Speaks reports.

Autistic people can experience both hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) and hyposensitivity (under-responsiveness) to different stimuli.

Most people with autism can have a combination of both.

Hypersensitivity can become apparent in the presence of bright lights, certain sounds, smells, textures and tastes.

Factors like these can be overwhelming resulting in “unusual and intense” reactions.

This can manifest as anything from pulling away from physical touch to unpredictable sounds.

On the contrary, hyposensitivity can manifest as an attraction to bright and vibrant stimuli.

This is because hyposensitivity can cause difficulty recognising sensations like hunger, illness or pain.

People with hyposensitivity may seek more sensory input from their environment.

For example, they may stimulate their senses by making loud noises, touching people or objects, or rocking back and forth, the autism charity explains.

It’s not clear what causes autism, or if it even has a cause.

It could run in the family as it may sometimes be passed on to a child by their parents.

The first step when you suspect autism signs is talking to someone for advice, the NHS reminds.

There’s a variety of people you could speak to including:

  • GP
  • Health visitor (for children under 5)
  • Any other health professional you or your child see, such as another doctor or therapist
  • Special educational needs (SENCO) staff at your child’s school.

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