Learn the symptoms of autism
Every child develops at their own pace, so there's no need to be alarmed if your child is a little late to walk or talk. But if your child is not meeting the milestones for their age, or something concerns you , consult your child’s doctor immediately.
Common symptoms of autism:
- Child doesn't respond to their name when called.
- Avoid physical or eye contact.
- Adheres to a rigid routine. Children with autism may become frustrated when their routines are disrupted.
- Exhibits repetitive behaviors such as spinning, hand flapping or rocking
- Repeating words or phrases.
- Give answers that are completely unrelated to questions.
- Shows difficulty understanding other people's feelings.
- Doesn't use gestures to communicate. (e.g. Pointing at desired objects, reaching for a parent to be held, waving Hello or Goodbye.)
- Shows restricted or obsessive interest.
- Over or under-reacts to sounds, sights, smell or taste.
Developmental "RED FLAGS"
Request an immediate evaluation by your child’s pediatrician if:
- By 6 months: No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions
- By 9 months: No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions
- By 12 months: Lack of response to name
- By 12 months: No babbling or “baby talk”
- By 12 months: No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving
- By 16 months: No spoken words
- By 24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating
NOTE: Not all children with autism exhibit these symptoms. This is why it's very important that parents refrain from self diagnosing their children. Diagnosing autism requires evaluation and the expertise of highly trained professionals.