Are you concerned about the development of your child? Is your child not progressing in the way that you think they should? Has someone suggested to you (gently we hope), or is there a little nudge in the back of your mind that something might be wrong? Many parents feel this way and wonder if their child is displaying signs of autism.
Do Not Let Denial Prevent Early Detection
None of us wish to believe that something could be amiss with our little ones, but with autism early detection is absolutely vital. The earlier the signs of autism are detected the better. With early detection comes a whole avenue of treatment options that may not be as effective once your child’s brain loses some of its plasticity as he/she gets older. Here we are going to cover some of the general autism signs that pediatricians and physicians look for when testing your child for autism. However, do not rely on your pediatrician to automatically spot these in the 15 minutes you spend with them. As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else-insist on care if you are the least bit suspect.
General Autism Signs
While developmental delays do not indicate a definite case of autism, they are a warning sign that your child may have autism. At the end of this article we will provide a link to the Center for Disease Control’s list of milestones that your child should be reaching by certain ages. Here are a few autism signs to look for in your baby or toddler:
- Doesn’t follow objects with their eyes.
- Doesn’t make eye contact (for example while bathing, or feeding).
- Doesn’t respond to the sound of your voice or the voices of others in the household.
- Doesn’t try to mimic your movements or expressions.
- Doesn’t make noises to get attention.
While this is not an all inclusive list, it is a good place to start.
Above all else, take note of this:
If your child regresses in an area of development, it could be a serious autism sign. For example, your child was enjoying games such as “patty cake” and “peek-a-boo”, but suddenly loses interest in these activities. Or, after using one word sentences such a “mom” or “toy”, reverts back to babbling. Any backward movement in any of the developmental areas should be an area of concern.
The link for the developmental milestones according to age as promised and a few other resources: