The realization that autism is a condition that is more widespread than was previously thought has caused a number of parents to look more closely for autism symptoms in their child.

While many signs of apparent autism can in fact be explained by other causes, there are a number of indicators that strongly point to the existence of the condition in a child. In many instances, the only way to know for sure whether or not your child is autistic is by close consultation and thorough observation by a physician.

Nevertheless, it is not unheard of for a physician to misdiagnose or fail to detect the presence of autism in a child. This is particularly true in cases wherein the child in question does not display the "traditional" autism symptoms, such as fixation with bright shiny objects or excessively repetitive behavior.

The fact that many autistic children's physical characteristics such as height, weight and skeletal formation is normal for their age further makes accurate diagnosis of the condition more difficult.

In a recent case posted on a web site devoted to autism for example, a child who was examined by the family pediatrician as part of a scheduled check up was given a clean bill of health.

His parents and one of his teachers felt that something was not right however, and a subsequent check up–this time by a medial team that was comprised of a psychologist, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist–confirmed that their worst fears were true and that their child was indeed autistic.

In this case, the child in question exhibited all the signs of normal physical development and furthermore was able to express himself verbally with 2- and 3-word combinations. It was only through the observation of a preschool teacher–who was in a position to see the child for extended periods of time everyday–that the parent's suspicions were given credence and they felt sufficiently compelled to seek further medical diagnosis.

If you suspect that your child displays autistic symptoms, do not be afraid to share your observations with your doctor and feel free to ask for a second opinion if you feel that it is warranted.

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Signs of Autism