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What Are the Signs of Autism in Teen Boys?

Person learning about the signs of autism in teens boys

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is widely misunderstood and challenging to diagnose. However, spotting the signs early and getting professional support can provide your teen with the resources they need to help them thrive. The signs of autism in teen boys may look different than those in adults or younger children. Specialized neurodevelopmental treatment for adolescents offers a safe and supportive space for teens to learn coping strategies, build social skills, and manage any co-occurring conditions. Call 888.904.5947 to learn more about Family First’s program in Florida.

Understanding Autistic Teenage Behavior

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, behavior, and social interaction. While it can be diagnosed at any age, symptoms often become more apparent during adolescence, a time of significant social and emotional development. Neurodevelopmental disorders range in severity and can present in various ways. The term “neurodiversity” has become popular to help destigmatize and celebrate the unique abilities and strengths of those with neurodevelopmental differences. Autistic teenage behavior can present in many forms and often involves difficulties with social interactions and communication, sensory sensitivities, repetitive behaviors, and intense focus on particular interests.

Common Autism Symptoms in Teens

Identifying signs of autism in teen boys can be challenging, as some signs may overlap with typical adolescent behaviors. However, certain indicators should prompt further investigation:

  • Social challenges – Difficulty making eye contact, understanding nonverbal cues, and maintaining friendships
  • Communication challenges – Delayed speech and language development, difficulty expressing emotions or thoughts effectively
  • Sensory sensitivities – Heightened sensitivity to certain sounds, textures, lights, or smells
  • Repetitive behaviors – Repeating words or phrases, rigid adherence to routines or rituals, intense fixation on specific interests or objects

It’s important to remember that autism occurs on a spectrum. Symptoms and behaviors can vary significantly from person to person, regardless of gender. So, while these are common symptoms in teen boys, they may also be present in girls or non-binary individuals.

What to Do When You Spot Symptoms of Autism in Teens

If you notice signs of autism in your teen, it’s important to seek professional support as soon as possible. Early intervention can significantly improve long-term outcomes for individuals with ASD. Your teen’s pediatrician will be able to talk to you about your concerns and make appropriate referrals to any specialists, such as a child psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician. They may also recommend an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or psychologist.

Why Intervention Is So Important

Intervention through specialized neurodevelopmental treatment programs can provide teens with the tools and support they need to navigate challenges and develop life skills. These programs often incorporate a variety of evidence-based approaches, such as:

  • Social skills training – Learning how to read nonverbal cues, initiate and maintain conversations, and build friendships
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – Identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that may contribute to social or emotional difficulties
  • Speech-language therapy – Improving communication skills through targeted techniques and strategies
  • Occupational therapy – Addressing sensory sensitivities and developing coping strategies for sensory overload

Many individuals living with ASD also live with co-occurring conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Without proper support and treatment, these conditions can significantly impact a teen’s ability to thrive. Treatment that addresses both ASD symptoms and co-occurring conditions can greatly improve your teen’s overall quality of life.

Contact Family First When You Need Help

We understand the unique challenges that come with raising a teen on the autism spectrum. Our specialized neurodevelopmental program offers individualized treatment plans and support for teens and their families. Our team of experts is committed to helping your teen develop the skills they need to reach their full potential. With more than 120 years of collective clinical experience and a staff-to-client ratio of 3:1, we provide the highest level of care for your teen. Call 888.904.5947 or contact Family First Adolescent Services online to find out if our program is right for your teen.