So what should you be looking for? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, these are some of the earliest red flags for autism:
Possible Indicators of Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Does not babble, point, or make meaningful gestures by 1 year of age
- Does not speak one word by 16 months
- Does not combine two words by 2 years
- Does not respond to name
- Loses language or social skills
- Poor eye contact
- Doesn't seem to know how to play with toys or excessively lines up toys or other objects
- Is attached to one particular toy or object
- Doesn't smile or interact joyfully
- At times seems to be hearing impaired
It's important to remember that there are many possible explanations for most of the symptoms listed above. A child's attachment to a particular toy or difficulty with language skills is not, in itself, a sign of autism.
It's also important to remember that a child who does have excellent language skills may still be diagnosable on the autism spectrum. In fact, some children who are diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome have extraordinary language and reading skills.
Other Possible Early Signs of AutismToday, autism is generally diagnosed through a process of interviews with parents and observation of children. Some researchers, however, have found correlations between certain physical issues and autism.
- Infant Diagnosis of Autism
- Signs of Autism May Be Present at Birth
- Accelerated Head Growth May be Early Indicator of Autism
If You See Signs that Suggest Autism
- Should I Wait to Have My Child Diagnosed with Autism?
- When Should I Seek an Autism Evaluation for My Child?
- Who Should Diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorders?
- Early Signs of Autism Your Pediatrician May Miss
If You're Ready to Seek an Evaluation for Your Child
- Screening and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders
- How Doctors Make an Autism Diagnosis
- What Should I Do While I Wait for An Autism Diagnosis?