Are my child's shyness a sign of autism

Is my child’s shyness a sign of autism?

It is an amazing experience to watch your child develop and grow. It can also be stressful. How can you tell if your child has reached all milestones? What is the right time to have a child’s cute quirk or behavior examined?

Many parents wonder if their child is shy, or if it is an indication of autism. Because some behaviors can seem very similar, the line between autism and shyness can be blurred.

A shy child might avoid eye contact, hide behind parents, or refuse to join playgroups. A child with autism might not be able to communicate, look at others, or play with other children. Autism may make shy children appear more reserved and quieter than other children, making it difficult to make friends.

How can you tell the difference?

There are subtle differences between autism and shyness in the way that a child communicates with other children.

Although shy children are more likely to avoid eye contact with strangers than others, they will still look up to their caregivers or parents for help. A shy child might eventually ‘warm up’. After watching the action for a while, a shy child may start to join the fun at playgroups and in the park. They may become more comfortable with new situations and open to other people over time.

Autism can make it difficult for a child to ‘warm up’ even after being around others. They prefer to be alone. Autism children are likely to not look to their parents for help in new situations. They may avoid eye contact with even those they love the most.

Signs that your child might have autism

It can be hard to identify signs and symptoms of autism when you are too involved in parenthood, depending on your child’s position on the autism spectrum. Most parents notice signs and symptoms around 2 years old. For some, it may take longer.

A child with autism might also display signs such as shyness or reluctance to socialize. Here are some examples:

  • You may not be able to imitate them when they point at something or clap their hands.
  • Some noises sell, or tastes might cause them to become upset.
  • You might see them doing the same thing over and again.
  • They might have been learning the language but stopped talking.

Talking to your doctor or pediatrician if you are concerned about your child’s shyness, and whether it may be an indication of autism, is a smart idea. A team of experts may be called in to examine your child in various settings.

It is important to remember that the sooner autism is diagnosed, then the higher the chance of successful interventions.

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