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Non-Engaged Communication In Autism

Non-engaged Communication in Autism

One of the important steps in the proper management of autism is making an early diagnosis. Younger children respond better to autism rehabilitation therapy; hence it is important to look out for early symptoms. There are some non-engaged communication signs that can warn a parent before a child starts developing verbal communication. Children suffering from autism have a particular weakness for things requiring the sequential processing of transient information.

Childhood autism is associated with the delay in the development of several important areas, including playing, talking, and how the child interacts with others. Although the signs of autism vary widely, nearly every affected child will have some difficulties with both verbal and non-engaged communication.

Given the fact that early detection is important, parents play a very important role in the diagnosis of autism. Unfortunately, some parents fail to notice important signs and even mistake them for good behavior. For instance, a child with autism may appear unusually quiet, undemanding, and independent.

It is important to understand that an early diagnosis of autism does not involve the presence of abnormal behaviors as much as the absence of normal ones. Some of the non-engaged communication signs include:

  • Lack of making eye contact. Toddlers suffering from autism may not even look at their parents when they are being fed. They tend to avoid eye contact in general.
  • Children neither initiate nor respond to cuddling.
  • Children do not seem to share an interest or enjoyment with other people.
  • Children appear independent in that they do not ask for any help or make any basic requests.
  • The child does not reach out to be picked up.
  • Lack of making any noise or gestures to draw attention.
  • The child does not respond to smiles.
  • Children who do not respond to familiar voices even when they are called.
  • Affected children do not imitate any movements, including facial expressions.
  • Babies who do not seem to follow objects visually. Affected children tend to focus on one spot. The children do not make or follow any gestures such as waving goodbye. Autistic children hardly use any gestures to communicate.

People used to think that autism could not be diagnosed before the age of 3. However, a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health discovered that diagnosis can actually be made soon after the first birthday. This is very important considering the significant role of early autism detection ineffective treatment.


Levy et al., 2009

 Schuler, 1995

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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

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