Ten Early Signs of Autism

In one of our blogs, published in August 2022, we discussed the causes of autism. In this blog, we look at ten early signs of autism. This article will be useful to parents, professionals, students, and other members of the community. As a provider, Q1 Care is committed to providing professional support to NDIS participants in addition to providing educative information to the NDIS community. In this article, we shall discuss the early signs of autism, to better inform the wider Australian community.

First, some children will hand flap during early development, but as with other these signs pay attention to how long the behaviour lasts. If the child grows out of these behaviours, generally around three years of age, there’s not much to worry about.

Second, most people have at least attempted to walk on their tippy toes at some point in their life. Again, pay attention to how often the child does the behaviour.

This third example may seem alarming. However, if they bang their head on something soft like this padded highchair, generally they’ll be okay. As a form of stimming, it can help calm the child due to the rocking motion. Many people with autism, like to rock back and forth. Some people even need to buy football helmets for their kids.

Fourth, it may not seem so odd to parents and others after all hasn’t every kid been fussy in public at some point, but this behaviour has less to do with not getting a tree or a toy, but due to the loud, bright conditions of most public settings, while it may be hard to distinguish sensory fussiness or meltdowns from common temper tantrums, an easy way to tell is this, when you give your child what they want, do they stop the bad behaviour? If so, it’s probably them just throwing a typical tantrum. However, if they continue to fuss, scream and cry as if in pain, even after they get what they want, then it’s probably a sensory related tantrum or meltdown as most people call it.

Fifth, we see another example of stemming while every child loves to play with water and blow bubbles in their milk. The key here is again, how long does this behavior last? Also, you may notice that your child is doing this behavior alone, withdrawn from others. Instead of trying to put a show, generally the behavior will last longer than five or 10 minutes and can last hours, depending on the severity of autism, look for extreme obsession and repetition with objects.

Sixth, we have very aggressive behavior. All kids fight at some point but is your child doing this immediately after being punished as if they are enjoying it, it may seem odd, but this can be another form of stimulation. As they get a strong response from others. When they are aggressive, you will notice the child being much more aggressive than a typical child for no obvious or good reason like wanting something.

Seventh, we have a lack of response to voice or sound while every child has ignored their parents. At some point, usually out of spite, you will notice an autistic child being the loop as if in their own little world. Sometimes parents think their little child has hearing problems at first, but this has more to do with being withdrawn than not hearing. If anything, autistic people hear too much and have a hard time filtering out noises.

Eighth, is probably the most well-known sign. And that’s the lack of eye contact. Most people with autism will avoid eye contact whenever they can. And many describe it as painful while the specific reasons can vary from person to person. This is definitely a strong sign that autism is present and usually persists into adulthood.

Ninth sign is missing speech milestones. If you don’t know the general rule for how many words your baby or toddler should be using, then it’s only a quick internet search away. Generally. If your child is only using a few words that age three, there is cause for concern, if your child is four or five and is still not using basic sentences, there is a great cause for concern. Also echoing words or echolalia is when they constantly repeat the same phrase, not in a learning way, but more like a broken record way again and again and again. So be aware of that too.

Tenth, and finally, not all people with autism are non-verbal just because your child may be talking doesn’t mean they’re necessarily out of the woods. This has to do with problems in food or textures, many people with autism or picky eaters, which ties them with the sensory issues. Some hate the feeling of yogurt or just like their food, touching other food. While this sounds like typical child behavior, it’s on a much higher level. If you offer that food to your child, even if they are clearly hungry, they won’t eat it even to save their lives.


Please reach out to a local psychologist, neurologist, social worker, or other professional. The sooner you get your child help, the greater chance they’ll have adapting to society and its many social customs on that same token. Please continue to help those with autism by educating yourself and others about the conditions they face every day.

Thanks for reading and best wishes.

 In the Spirit of Reconciliation Q1 Care acknowledges:

The traditional custodians of the lands on which we operate and respect elders, past, present, and emerging as we work towards reconciliation.

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