by Gust Lenglet (the founder of Autism Resources and has written several articles on what to look for to see if your child has autism)
If you ask the vast majority of parents what gender they would like their child to be before they are informed of the sex, they would happily answer that they do not mind as long as the baby is healthy. Although those parents will worry that their child will have some disorder, most do not have cause to worry, but those that do may not always notice the symptoms. The early symptoms of autism, for example, are not blindingly obvious and can easily be mistaken for something else. However, if you know a little about this disorder, then you will be able to recognize them.
Autism is effectively a brain development disorder that can be present at birth but can also manifest itself a little later into childhood. In most children, the symptoms are evident by the age of two but the vast majority of those cases are only diagnosed between the age of two and three years old. However, the sooner you notice the early symptoms of autism, the quicker you can get a diagnosis and a treatment plan to ensure that the disorder is as stable as possible. It is not unheard of for a six month old baby to be diagnosed!
Although the early symptoms of autism will vary from child to child, there are some common symptoms that are present in autistic children to varying degrees. Some are physical symptoms while others are mental. For example, facial expressions tend to be common physical symptoms. A high number of autistic children do not smile before the age of six months, unlike children that are developing normally. They also tend to avoid eye contact. In fact, many autistic children only display blank expressions.
Many early symptoms of autism are behavioral. For example, a baby can either appear to be hyperactive or destructive. In some cases a child may be both. Similarly, a child with autism may also self-harm by throwing a tantrum for no apparent reason at all. This could include biting him or herself, banging limbs and the head against the floor or their bed, and may even try to scratch or bite you. As autistic children often have less sensitivity to pain, this is more painful for the parent than the child. Finally, another of the early symptoms of autism is that the child cannot interact with others. That may include other children, in which case they often play on their own.
The early symptoms of autism outlined above are not exhaustive by any means, and it may be that not all of them apply to your child. However, it is worth reviewing a checklist to see just how many of the symptoms your child displays. If there are any, you should consult with a qualified physician as soon as possible.