Kids with autism have differences in the way their brains develop and process information. Most of the obvious signs and symptoms of autism tend to appear between 12 and 18 months. Still, autism can become apparent by the age of 3 months if parents know what to look for.
Some possible early signs and symptoms of autism in infants include:
- By 2 to 3 months, your baby isn't making frequent eye contact.
- By 3 months, he isn't smiling at you.
- By 6 months, he doesn't laugh.
- By around 8 months, he isn't following your gaze when you look away from him.
- By 9 months, he hasn't begun to babble.
- By 1 year, he isn't consistently turning to you when you call his name.
- By 1 year, he hasn't begun to wave bye-bye.
- By 12 to 14 months, he hasn't said a single word.
- By 14 months, he isn't pointing to show interest.
- By 18 months, he doesn't play "pretend."
Because symptoms are sometimes hard to notice, it can take longer to fully identify autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents look for signs that suggest the possibility of autism at every visit with their pediatrician. Formal autism screenings can begin as early as 16 months of age.
Signs of autism can include:
- Trouble interacting, playing with or relating to others
- Having little or brief eye contact with others
- Not pointing to objects to call attention to them
- Unusual or repetitive movements, such as hand flapping, spinning or tapping
- Delays in developmental milestones or loss of milestones already achieved
- Playing with a toy in a way that seems odd or repetitive
- Not using or understanding language as a child that age typically would
- Not exploring surroundings with curiosity or interest (a child seeming to be in his or her "own world")
For more information on autism and signs and symptoms to look for, visit the "Autism" section of the SSM Cardinal Glennon's KidHealth Library.
If your child has autism and you'd like more information about the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon, visit us at cardinalglennon.com/knightsofcolumbus.
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