Learn the Signs of Autism
Most of you have heard of autism. Did you know that there isn’t a singular type of autism? Autism operates along a spectrum of similar developmental disorders. However, some nuances exist between different types of autism. It is important that you become familiar with the Autism Spectrum if you believe your child or another family member might have a form of autism.
What is the Autism Spectrum?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the collective name for a grouping of developmental disabilities. Each of these disabilities has different diagnostic criteria and symptoms. Social and motor skills differ between these forms of autism. Known risk factors for having an ASD include gender (males are more frequently diagnosed), having a genetic condition, having a sibling with ASD, and being born to a set of older parents.
Signs of Autism in Infants and Toddlers
The most important thing to know about ASDs is that symptoms manifest early in life, and these symptoms can be better treated with early detection and diagnosis. Some of the most common signs of autism in infants and toddlers include:
- Not smiling or expressing joy toward others by 6 months old
- Limited or no eye contact by 6 months
- No verbal communication by 9 months
- No babbling by 12 months
- No gestures used by 12 months
- No response to name by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- No two-word phrases with meaning by 24 months
- Loss of babbling, speech, or social skills
Signs of Autism at Any Age
There are common symptoms that occur throughout the human lifespan. While having just a few of these criteria might not constitute an ASD diagnosis, it is important to pay attention to them:
- Avoiding eye contact and/or socialization
- Repetitive behaviors
- Limited interests
- Nonverbal or limited/delayed verbal communication
- Struggles to deal with changes in environment or routine
- Struggles to understand others’ thoughts and feelings
Your First Steps
Getting your child or loved one assessed is the first step you can take in helping them. During a child’s wellness check-up with a pediatrician (especially at 18- and 24-month visits), you can request that ASD screening is specifically conducted.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about autism and your child, let our friendly staff know how we can help you.
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