Signs of Undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder in Older Children

The signs of autism can be detected very early in life. ABA therapists tend to agree that the sooner autism is detected and interventions begun, the better the outcome is likely to be. However, autism can cause less noticeable differences that may not be readily observed until the child is in a classroom setting. Teachers are often instrumental in identifying developmental differences.


Some children with autism are inappropriately and incorrectly labeled as “defiant” because they may not be able to follow a teacher’s instructions, sit still at a desk, or stay on task with an assignment. Sometimes, non-compliance can be born of receptive language deficits; the child may simply not understand spoken directives.

Social Interaction

Social interactions are often challenging for children with autism. Some children may want to make friends, but aren’t sure how to do so. When a child does make friends, he or she may not easily adapt to the commonly accepted social rules of friendship. Or, a child may shun other children his or her age, preferring to stay nearer to adults or children of different ages. Children with autism are often found by themselves on the playground.


Teachers who are familiar with the potential signs of autism may call a parent’s attention to a child’s behavioral differences. Sometimes, children with autism do have full-blown meltdowns, which are often triggered by changes in established routines. Often, the behavioral differences are subtler, such as when a child with autism inadvertently gets in another person’s “personal space.” As children with autism grow older, they may display an obsessive attention to detail in one narrow topic of interest, such as trains or baseball statistics. Some kids with autism display repetitive movements such as hand-flapping or rocking.

For almost two decades, families affected by autism in Frisco have relied on the compassionate therapy team at The Behavior Exchange. We firmly believe that every child with autism can reach his or her full potential with clinically proven interventions such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Call us today at (888) 716-8084 and let us know how we can help your family.





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