Autism is generally diagnosed in children from preschool age right through to adulthood.

Some experts feel that the signs of autism may be seen in babies as young as 4 months,

and recent early studies using eye-tracking technology suggest it may even be evident in

babies as young as two months.

However, it is unlikely a child will be screened until they are older, as a diagnosis of

autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is made by looking at a wide range of tests and

behavioural interactions. These tests are usually carried out from the age of two years.

Children with Autism

Children with autism spectrum disorder often have additional learning difficulties such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), or anxiety. Roughly 50% of children with autism will have learning difficulties, such as global developmental delay (GDD).

Signs of Autism

Children with autism may be seen to have repetitive hand movements, stimming, rocking, and flicking their fingers. They may lack imaginative play skills, or play with items in a ritualistic way such as lining up and ordering items according to categories. Children with autism often prefer routines and may get very anxious when this is disrupted. This can be challenging both at home and when interacting with their peers.

Associated Conditions

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be seen as a stand-alone disorder, or be associated with other conditions such as fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Rett syndrome, Down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

Contact our special needs trust today, in Newton Health, Manchester, for more information and guidance.