As with almost any neurological or mental health disorder, the symptoms or signs of autism may appear in neuro-typically developing children to some degree. When the symptom becomes more severe, more frequent, and/or more problematic for the child’s and/or their family’s day to day living, further action should be taken to consider whether autism (or another condition) is the culprit of the symptoms. Below is an infographic from Autism Puzzles and Halcyon that represents some of the main signs of autism.
Depending on the age of the child, these signs may look different in terms of how the child behaves. For instance, the sign of “difficulty dealing with changes to routine” may be manifested as crying and clinginess in a neuro-typical one year old. However, a neuro-typical seven year old who has difficulty with changes to routine may display attention issues in school and may test rules more often than usual when the routine changes. It is normal for children to have difficulty with changes in their routine even though some people in general will deal with it more easily than others. This is part personality and temperament. We are all made unique.
When a child has autism, the manifestations of “difficulty dealing with changes to routine” may be displayed in different ways, such as whining, crying, passivity, aggression, and other behaviors. As a parent, you are likely observant of your child’s personality and development and are likely to have insight as to whether your child is acting in ways similar to most other children their age. If you are concerned, contact a professional.