The faster children with ASD can receive therapy, the better. A great deal of parents of Autistic children felt there was something different with their child’s development at an early stage.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) list five behaviors that signal further evaluation is warranted:
Does not babble or coo by 12 months
Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
Does not say single words by 16 months
Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age
Having any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. But because the symptoms of the disorder vary so much, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by a multidisciplinary team.
Early signs of autism:
Doesn’t make eye contact (e.g. look at you when being fed).
Doesn’t smile when smiled at.
Doesn’t respond to his or her name or to the sound of a familiar voice.
Doesn’t follow objects visually.
Doesn’t point or wave goodbye or use other gestures to communicate.
Doesn’t follow the gesture when you point things out.
Doesn’t make noises to get your attention.
Doesn’t initiate or respond to cuddling.
Doesn’t imitate your movements and facial expressions.
Doesn’t reach out to be picked up.
Doesn’t play with other people or share interest and enjoyment.
Doesn’t ask for help or make other basic requests.
It is important to note that not all signs of Autism appear in all Autistic children. The degrees in which they appear may vary as well.