What You Need to Know About Autism Spectrum Disorder in Kids?

Amisha Gandhi

7 September 2022

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects children’s social and communication skills. It can start to affect kids as early as two years old. Autism is a condition people are born with, but it can be recognised in kids by parties as early as ages two to three when they start to have trouble interacting with other kids their age. Children who have ASD display repetitive behaviours and limited interests.

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism typically first appears in toddlerhood, although the timing varies widely. Some toddlers become withdrawn, while others begin to lose language or social skills or even regress in their development. Autism has varying degrees of severity. Not every autistic person has all the traits, and many have more severe symptoms than others.

The symptoms are divided into two categories:

1. Social Communication and Social Interaction

A child who doesn’t like to cuddle or hug, or likes playing alone, may have autism. At the age of three, a child who has trouble answering their name and doesn’t want to share, show things to other people, or use gestures to communicate may be showing early signs of autism. Older children may use fewer gestures and have trouble understanding how others feel, showing how they feel, understanding reciprocity, and reading and interpreting others’ expressions and body language.

Most children begin speaking by 18 months, but some don’t start talking until much later. Some may never begin to talk or speak only a few words. A child who has not begun to talk two-word phrases by the time she is two years old may have a speech delay and require professional evaluation and therapy.

Children with ASD may sound like a robot or talk in a singsong tone. Repetition of phrases is another indicator, as is putting words in the wrong order. They can recite facts but cannot use this information or have a two-way conversation. They may also rarely or never make eye contact. They also have trouble carrying on an exchange and letting the other person speak.

2. Repetitive Behaviours

Children with autism tend to repeat the same action again and again. They also focus on the tiny details, struggle with routine changes, put toys in a line instead of playing with them, and get very focused on particular topics and objects.

Sensory processing issues affect the lives of children with autism, who are often sensitive to sounds, lights, textures or smells. These sensitivities might go unnoticed by people who don’t have them, but loud noises or bright lights can make children with autism very uncomfortable. Their brains need more input to feel comfortable; otherwise, they will bump into things or constantly touch or smell things to gather that input.

How Is Autism Diagnosed?

Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is diagnosed by a medical professional. To be diagnosed with autism, a child must show symptoms of both neurodevelopmental disorders and repetitive behaviours. These symptoms must get in the way of the child’s daily life. Symptoms exist even before a child is two years old, but they can become apparent when the child is older.

Autistic children often have trouble with reasoning, learning, and communicating. Although symptoms vary greatly, autistic children usually lack characteristics of normal social interactions. Many children with autism and developmental delay are also intellectually impaired. A child should only be diagnosed with autism if they also cannot exhibit normal intellectual functioning.

A child who is socially stunted but is not repetitive should not be diagnosed with autism; instead, the child should be diagnosed with a social communication disorder.


Autism is a developmental condition that affects the way a child interacts with the world around them. It’s a spectrum disorder that affects every child differently. Although there is no cure for autism, there are ways to manage the condition. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, talk to our doctors.

Cloud Nine Therapy Services is a newly launched child-centred occupational therapy practice located in Blacktown. As Sydney’s premier paediatric occupational therapy service, we offer a range of evidence-based occupational therapy for autism to the kids throughout Blacktown, Castle Hill, Glenwood, Parramatta, and beyond. If you’re looking for a paediatrician working on autism spectrum disorder therapy in Sydney, get in touch with us. Call us at 02 9621 1772 for any inquiry.