Social, communication and behavioural concerns of parents having pre-schoolers with autism

Parents having pre/schoolers with autism is concerned with lots of issues like,

Social/Emotional Concerns

  • Poor at initiating and/or sustaining activities and friendships with peers
  • Play/free-time is more isolated, rigid and/or repetitive, less interactive
  • Atypical interests and behaviours compared to peers
  • Unaware of social conventions or codes of conduct (e.g., seems unaware of how comments or actions could offend others)
  • Excessive anxiety, fears or depression
  • Atypical emotional expression (emotion, such as distress or affection, is significantly more or less than appears appropriate for the situation)

Communication Concerns

  • Unusual tone of voice or speech (seems to have an accent or monotone, speech is overly formal)
  • Overly literal interpretation of comments (confused by sarcasm or phrases such as “pull up your socks” or “looks can kill”)
  • Atypical conversations (one-sided, on their focus of interest or on repetitive/unusual topics)
  • Poor nonverbal communication skills (eye contact, gestures etc.)

Behavioural Concerns

  • Excessive fascination/perseveration with a particular topic, interest or object
  • Unduly upset by changes in routines or expectations
  • Tendency to flap or rock when excited or distressed
  • Unusual sensory responses (reactions to sound, touch, textures, pain tolerance, etc.)
  • History of behavioural concerns (inattention, hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, selective mute)
  • Poor fine and/or gross motor skills or coordination


Autism Center

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