Signs of Autism
Early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is very important. The signs of autism usually appear within a child’s first three years, often within the first 12 to 18 months. Autism spectrum disorder manifests in countless ways and in many combinations. Every child is different.
What are the signs of autism? Communication signals are often the earliest to appear. Talk to your pediatrician if your child does not:
- Make eye contact
- Want to be with others
- Seem soothed by mom’s voice by three months
- Seem startled by loud sounds by three months
- Give big smiles by six months
- Babble or respond to his or her own name by 10 months
- Understand common words like “no” or “bye-bye” by 10 months
- Imitate simple words/sounds by 15 months
- Locate objects when asked by 15 months
- Speak 8 to 10 true words by 18 months
- Follow simple spoken directions
These communication signals may or may not be accompanied by the following physical developmental factors:
- Stiff arms or legs
- Body arching
- Extreme irritability
- Persistent choking or gagging
- Use of only one side of the body
- A floppy or limp body
- Gestures like pointing, showing, reaching, and waving are minimal by 12 months
A comprehensive evaluation is the only way to confirm autism spectrum disorder.
Let your child’s pediatrician help you interpret the signs and complete the necessary screenings to identify red flags. Your pediatrician may refer you to a specialist. You can also get specialist information by calling the Finnegan Family Autism Center at ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital at 419-291-7080.