What Are the Red Flags for Autism?

Let’s face it: living with autism isn’t easy. It’s challenging and very different from living without autism. When you’re in an autistic child’s shoes, the world can be a confusing, scary place. 

For these reasons, it’s important to know the warning signs so you can get your child the help he or she needs. Read on as a Washington, DC vision therapy optometrist discusses autism, red flags to watch for, and how effective vision therapy is at helping children with autism reach their full potential.

What Is Autism?

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. It can manifest in different ways, but most commonly appears as delayed development in language and social skills.

It’s important to note that autism is not a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms that can cause issues with communication, behavior, and social interaction. These symptoms typically begin in early childhood, but they don’t have to be present at birth—they can also appear later in life.

Red Flags for Autism to Watch for

Autism is a complex condition with many causes, but there are a few red flags that can help you identify it. If you’re worried about your child or a friend or family member, look for these signs:

  • Poor eye contact.
  • Lack of social skills and emotional reciprocity
  • Delayed speech development (not speaking at all)
  • Repetitive behaviors and/or interests (rocking back and forth, lining things up)
  • Marked impairment in understanding language, such as not responding to his or her name or difficulties in imitation and play (such as imitating others’ actions)
  • Unusual responses to sensory stimuli, such as being over- or under-sensitive to sound or touch 
  • Problems with motor skills such as walking, running, and climbing stairs
  • Delays in problem-solving, such as not understanding simple cause-and-effect relationships or imitating adult behaviors 
  • Limited interests and a lack of social reciprocity, such as no eye contact and no smiling at other people 
  • Repetitive use of language, such as saying the same word or phrase over and over again

Treating Autism With Vision Therapy

We know what you’re thinking—vision therapy? That sounds weird! And it can be a little bit weird, but we promise it’s worth it. 

Our vision therapists work with children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as other developmental disorders like ADHD or dyslexia. They teach them skills like eye contact, reading comprehension, and motor coordination by using special tools like prism glasses and colored lenses. 

These tools have proven incredibly effective at helping kids build their confidence in themselves while also improving their overall ability to function in society.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call our Washington, DC vision therapy optometry office anytime!