Autism generally emerges in the first few years of life. Signs that may indicate autism include:
- A baby or young child who does not make a typical amount of eye contact or pay attention to other people
- A lack of smiling when engaging with others
- A lack of response to his or her name being called (this could also be due to hearing difficulties, so you should have your child’s hearing checked)
- A lack of use of gestures, such as pointing or showing things
- Less interest than is typical in playing games such as patty-cake or imitation games
- Lack of or reduced babbling or use of words to communicate
- Unusual ways of pointing or repetitive movements such as hand flapping, spinning objects, or peering at objects held close to the face
Signs May Not Develop Until Later in Childhood
Primary care doctors are encouraged to screen for early signs of autism in toddlers at ages 18 and 24 months. Some children with mild autism find ways to compensate for developmental issues; their autism may not become obvious until later in childhood.
If You Are Concerned About Your Child's Behavior
Contact your primary care doctor or reach out to us directly. An early diagnosis allows us to have the greatest impact on your child’s development. Treatments, especially those put in place at a young age, can be highly effective in nurturing your child’s ability to thrive at home, in school, and in social situations.