13 Autism Myths Everyone Needs to Stop Believing
Myth: A child with a few autistic behaviors must have autism
Many parents may worry about their own children possibly having autism because they display one, two, or even five typical autistic characteristics. What they don’t realize, though, is that the diagnostic criteria for autism covers a wide range of delays, like social impairments, communication delays, and even a child’s ability to use his imagination during play.
The evaluation process examines a child in a number of ways, like watching him play, performing language assessments, and conducting assessments with parents, caregivers, and teachers. It’s likely that a child with just a few characteristics of autism does not have the disorder, especially if they aren’t consistent in all of the child’s activities or environments.
According to Dr. Hagerty, “While the caregivers’ feedback is very important, they need to talk to the child’s pediatrician about the presence of these signs before jumping to conclusions. In any case, one sign, especially isolated and observed for a short period of time in a single setting, may not be considered a reason to suspect autism.” As a parent, you know your child best and should absolutely discuss your concerns with your child’s pediatrician, but don’t jump to conclusions.