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When to Book an Autism Assessment

It is possible to improve the outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder when they are diagnosed early. This allows for early intervention. It can be challenging to recognise the signs of autism in early stages, however.

The earliest time you can conduct an autism assessment Footscray is when you notice a delay when reaching development milestones. This will be more apparent when it comes to communication, motor skills and social interactions. Children generally develop at their own pace but sometimes there can be some delays that can indicate a concern. If your child is not speaking their first words by the time they are 12 months or babbling, it is best to have them evaluated. Children generally speak meaningful phrases once they are 24 months of age and if your child is showing delays in this, it can be a cause for concern. Observe your child to see whether they have difficulty making and maintaining eye contact. Does your child respond to their name? Sometimes children with ASD find it difficult to maintain back and forth social interactions.

Sometimes there can be delays in motor skills such as their fine motor skills.

They may not be able to grasp objects or they may have delays when it comes to walking. Children with ASD generally have limited interest in social interactions. They will have many challenges when it comes to social engagement. They tend not to make eye contact with others and they will find it difficult to engage in pretend play. They may not like to share toys or take turns when playing. There is such a thing as a social smile where the child will respond with a smile when somebody else smiles with them. A child with autism may not reciprocate in this way. They will also not be very interested in forming friendships with peers.

You have to observe

The behaviour of your child in order to determine when an autism assessment is required. Common behaviours that are associated with autism are repetitive behaviours and sensory sensitivities. They will engage in repetitive movements such as rocking, flapping their hands etc. They may also be fixated on a specific interest and not be interested in other topics at all. You may notice that your child has a heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli like textures, sounds, lights and tastes. They will also display a resistance to change their routine or environment. Communication difficulties are very common when it comes to children with autism. If they have limited speech or have no speech by the time they are two years old, it is best to have them evaluated. Sometimes they will repeat words or phrases out of context. Many children with autism will also find it difficult to communicate non-verbally using facial expressions, gestures and body language. They will not be able to understand emotions or humour in others. It will be difficult for them to respond to social cues. In some situations, the child can also show regression in skills where they will lose their social engagement or language.