While you look for signs of autism in 4 year old, there are some indications or early signs of autism that you can use to spot the sign of the disease through the behavioral analysis of a 4-year-old.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism spectrum disorder is generally diagnosed reliably in children at the age of 2 by experienced professionals.
In other children, autism can go undiagnosed for some time and the diagnosis is not done until they are much older. Sometimes, this diagnosis can be done in children with an age of 18 years or younger.
There are some early signs of autism spectrum disorder that can be identified in autistic children that can involve obsessive interests, repetitive behaviors, developmental differences, etc.
This article is meant to give you a brief overview of the early signs or common symptoms of autism in 4 year old, and how can these signs of autism spectrum disorder can help you in identifying the disorder, where you can take the child to medical professionals for further evaluation. This read will help you to differentiate between autistic children from other typically developing children.
Signs of autism in 4 year old:
The symptoms and signs of autism in 4 year old are related to social and language skills, restrictive and repetitive behaviors, communication skills, and a broad range of other signs of autism.
When psychologists get autism diagnosed in children, they observe them playing and interacting with others. There are certain patterns that children follow during their development and children reach them by the age of 4 years, and any developmental delay in a child’s life and subtle signs show autistic patterns, and parents notice differences in these behaviors.
While looking for signs of autism spectrum disorder, there are the following general symptoms associated with a 4-year autistic child:
1) Challenges in Social skills:
Some of the early signs of autism in 4 year old entail some notable challenges in varying degrees in coping with the social setup around them. These possible early signs of autism-related to social skills are listed under:
i) Name Calling:
These children don’t usually respond when they are asked about their names.
ii) Playing alone:
As these kids try to avoid social situations and hence, autistic children prefer to play alone over playing with other children.
iii) Hesitate in sharing:
Autistic children hesitate in sharing things with others and prefer to take turns by using the succession one after the other sharing the responsibilities with other kids of the same age groups. For example, while playing with toys, they will not share them with others and prefer to play with them alone.
iv) Hesitate in socializing and interacting:
Autistic children hand back in social skills whereby they prefer not to do any socializing and interaction with others.
v) Avoidance of physical contact:
Another one of the signs of autism in 4 year old is that they try to avoid physical contact with others and show avoiding body language and don’t like the physical contact.
vi) Trouble making friends:
A 4-year-old tries autistic child to hand back when it comes to making friends or they struggle with this skill.
vii) Avoids eye contact:
Normally, with normal development, children learn to make eye contact with their parents and smile in response. But the 4-year-old autistic children will avoid making eye contact or make poor and seldom eye contact with others during social interactions. Normal children also show a keen interest in their favorite animals and toys by pointing fingers, but autistic children don’t or show little interest.
vii) Detecting emotions and facial expressions:
A 4-year-old autistic child struggles to detect other children’s emotions and struggles to interpret facial expressions, which the social situations overwhelming for them. Hence they try to avoid interactions and shut down interests for interaction altogether.
viii) Inappropriate facial expressions:
A 4-year-old autistic child avoids facial expressions or can make an inappropriate facial expression while they are in any social setup.
ix) Understanding feelings of others:
While in social interaction, the 4-year-old autistic child’s behavior shows awkward social skills and can sometimes interact in a way that can be hurtful or inappropriate to others as they face difficulty understanding others’ feelings.
x) Expressing their own feelings:
One of the early signs of autism in 4 year old is their difficulty expressing their feelings or talking about them, together with understanding other people’s feelings. In short, they are not good when it comes to feelings.
xi) Participation in plays and storytelling:
The 4-year-old autistic children don’t like to participate in imaginative or pretend play and do like storytelling.
2) Communication skills and Language:
The 4-year old children with the autistic disorder face a range of loose language issues together with the spoken language or verbal communication and nonverbal communication challenges that hamper many children in the art of expressing themselves.
i) Conversational problems:
These children in their early childhood, face difficulties in communication skills, whereby they find it troubling in two-way communication. Furthermore, their speech challenges include no speech or delayed speech.
ii) Repetitive words or phrases:
These children can make use of repetitive words and phrases again and again while trying to engage in conversation and express their thoughts and can show delayed speech.
iii) Following directions:
These children lack in answering a question properly when asked to and do not follow the directions.
iv) Counting and time:
Another one of the signs of autism in 4-year-old autistic children is that they do not understand counting and do not get the idea of time.
v) Body language:
These kids rarely or never make use of body language and gestures, e.g. pointing at things and waving. They also have trouble making eye contact.
vi) Forming sentences:
Another of the early signs of autism in a 4-year-old is that they find it difficult to form sentences whenever they are trying to make a conversation.
vii) Jokes and sarcasm:
They are less likely to understand jokes and sarcasm and take things to interpret them literally.
3) Restrictive and repetitive behaviors:
There are following restrictive and repetitive behaviors found in autistic children in their early childhood. The early signs of autism-related to the development of these behaviors are following:
i) Repetitive Motions:
These children show the performance of repetitive motions, e.g. rocking to and fro, spinning, and flapping the hands.
ii) Lining up toys:
These kids line up toys and other objects in a specifically organized way and show upsetting responses whenever their order is changed.
iii) Using the same pattern over time:
These kids usually try to follow the same pattern. For example, you will notice such a child playing with his/her toys the same way every time.
iv) Following certain routines:
The 4-year-old autistic children stick to following certain routines and get easily frustrated with even minor changes in their lives.
v) Obsessive and unusual interests:
These kids show unusual interests and obsession in these interests, together with giving their focus on certain subjects of interest.
vi) Fear of sensory overload:
These children have more fear of overwhelming sensory experiences like loud noises, bright colors, and flashing lights.
Peer-reviewed studies show that early intervention and autism diagnosis can help autistic children in developing coping strategies to lower the impacts of autism spectrum disorder on their lives.
What are the 3 main symptoms of autism?
Although there are many symptoms of autism. But, if you want to narrow it down, three main symptoms of autism spectrum disorder that a child’s parents or child’s doctor see in the child are:
Delay in achieving milestones
A child showing socially awkward behavior
Trouble in verbal and nonverbal communication
What to do after detecting these signs in a child:
If you notice any of the signs of autism listed above in your child, talk to the doctor as early as possible, so that proper treatment and therapies devised for them can get started.
The earlier to get your child for official diagnosis and treatment, the better it will be for your child.
What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is a lifelong and complex developmental disability that creates communication difficulties, impacts social and language skills, affects relationships, and self-regulation of one’s self.
Wrapping Up Signs of Autism in 4 Year Old
This article is meant to educate you on some common signs of a 4-year-old autistic child. Autism is a disorder that can be put under control with some proper diagnostic and treatment options.
Some programs are devised by the professionals and school district to help the children having the indication of signs of autism in 4-year-old and proper diagnosis.