In the beginning, children with autism are diagnosed long before the age of 8 , when the first signs appear. Although it may happen that parents consider that the child is that way because of their personality and do not have enough information to be able to think that their child may have autism.
Boys are 4 times more likely to develop Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) than girls. Eight-year-olds with autism can present with a wide variety of symptoms related to social interactions, emotional reactions, communication skills, and physical functions. The type and severity of symptoms will vary from person to person . You will need to contact your child’s doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
Typically, developing 8-year-olds work to create two-way relationships, make friends easily, and may have close friends. However, an 8-year-old with autism may struggle with friendships, dislike being with others, and cannot reciprocate in relationships . Children with autism struggle to take turns and share, making it difficult for other children to want to play with them.
Other social symptoms of autism include not respecting or understanding personal space issues, difficulty noticing other people’s feelings, and interacting only to achieve a goal, not for the enjoyment of social interaction.
An 8-year-old child with autism may not like being touched, rejecting feelings of affection from family or friends . In contrast, a normally developing 8-year-old child gives and receives affection through hugs, kisses, and allows for example to be held by the hand. Children with autism can also have abnormal emotional responses to situations. An 8-year-old non-autistic child may be laughing, mocking, fearful, or sad, but emotion is capable of having emotions appropriate to each situation.
A child with autism cannot seek or receive comfort from parents when injured, while a child who is not autistic will go to mom and dad for reassurance and care. Autistic children tend to prefer routines and when routines are interrupted, they can become very frustrated and have tantrums.
SYMPTOMS IN COMMUNICATION
Communication deficiencies can also be symptoms of autism in an 8-year-old. Words can be repeated over and over, unrelated answers can be given to questions, and direct eye contact can be avoided. The child may speak in a monotonous voice or as if he were singing. Also, non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions, gestures, and body movements, may not match your words . For example, a child with autism may seem very sad when he reads something funny.
An 8-year-old with autism may annoy other children with his persistence on a particular topic. Instead of mentioning a preferred topic a few times, the topic can become the focus of every conversation. Some children with autism never speak like children, as they do not learn to “talk to children” with their peers, but rather speak like adults.
Children with autism can have problems with textures, sounds, and tastes. A normal 8-year-old may often like school, but an autistic child may feel angry and overreact to sounds and activity. Some autistic children show repetitive body movements, such as spinning in circles, waving their hands, or rocking from side to side, this is known as stereotypies.
An 8-year-old autistic child may repeatedly play with a single toy or even a part of a toy, such as the wheels of a truck. Some autistic children have unusual habits of sleeping poorly or eating non-food substances such as dirt or paper.