Child in therapy sensory stimulating roo

LEARN THE SIGNS OF AUTISM

(The information below is not meant to diagnose or treat. It should not take the place of consultation with a qualified healthcare professional).


The timing and intensity of autism’s early signs vary widely. Some infants show hints in their first months. In others, behaviors become obvious as late as age 2 or 3.  Not all children with autism show all the signs. Many children who don’t have autism show a few. That’s why professional evaluation is crucial.  The following may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, ask your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation right away:

By 6 months

  • Few or no big smiles or other warm, joyful and engaging expressions

  • Limited or no eye contact

By 9 months

  • Little or no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions

By 12 months

  • Little or no babbling

  • Little or no back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving

  • Little or no response to name

By 16 months

  • Very few or no words

By 24 months

  • Very few or no meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating)

At any age

  • Loss of previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills

  • Avoidance of eye contact

  • Persistent preference for solitude

  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings

  • Delayed language development

  • Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia)

  • Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings

  • Restricted interests

  • Repetitive behaviors (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)

  • Unusual and intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors


If you have concerns, get your child screened and contact your healthcare provider

The M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers ™) can help you determine if a professional should evaluate your child. This simple online autism screen, available on the Autism Speaks website, takes only a few minutes. If the answers suggest your child has a high probability for autism, please consult with your child’s doctor. Likewise, if you have any other concerns about your child's development, don't wait. Speak to your doctor now about screening your child for autism.

Resources

A diagnosis of autism is an important turning point in a long journey to understand your child's world. Autism Speaks has many resources for families whose children have recently received a diagnosis.