Symptoms of Autism

flying_a_kiteOccasionally it’s possible to recognize early developmental delays in very young babies but in many cases it might not be until at least 12 months old that you start recognizing delays that warrant further evaluation by a pediatrician. has an excellent guide in looking for signs and symptoms of autism in babies and toddlers.

These include:

  • Doesn’t make eye contact (example does not 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 familiar voices
  • 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 peers or share their interest or enjoyment
  • Doesn’t ask for help or make other basic requests suggests the following delays would warrant an immediate evaluation but your child’s primary care provider.

  • By 6 months: No big smiles or warm joyful expressions
  • By 9 months: No back and forth sharing of sounds smiles or other facial expressions
  • By 12 months: lack of response to name
  • By 12 months: No back and forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving.
  • By 16 months: No spoken words
  • By 24 months: No meaningful two- word phrases that don’t involve imitation or repetition

There are many instances when the early symptoms are missed or the severity not as great and children can advance to school age before detection. Some of the later indicators for older children would include

  • inability to make or keep friendships with their peers
  • an absence of imaginative play with themselves or others – inability to initiate conversation with others or listen when others are speaking to them
  • repetition of unusual or advanced language for their age level
  • preoccupation with certain objects or subjects and an ability to move away from things that are of particular interest to them.
  • inflexibility with changes in routines or an attachment to certain rituals.

In the United States pediatricians will evaluate children for autism at 18 months and again at 2 years as well as any time a parents voices concern about potential delays. Many pediatricians will run through a list of questions for parents to assess a child’s development. It is referred to as the Modified Checklist for Autism in toddlers.

If you have any concerns about your child’s current development, visit to do a quick assessment and seek further evaluation if you have any concerns.

Autism Facts


Autism by the Numbers

The costs of behavioral intervention therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can reach up to $60,000 per child each year.

It is estimated that medical costs associated with caring for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder are up to $20,000 higher annually than caring for a child without.

It is estimated that Autism costs the nation $137 billion per year, no doubt the rising ate of children diagnosed will increase this figure dramatically.

In 2010 the National Institute of Health (NIH) allocated just $218 million of it’s $35.6 billion dollar budget to Autism. This number represents less than 0.6% of total NIH funding.

More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than pediatric AIDS, juvenile diabetes and cancer combined.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States yet the most underfunded.

Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

While the cause of Autism is still unclear, current studies indicate genetics and exposure to environmental triggers both play a role in the autism prevalence increase.

Families with one child on the Autism Spectrum have an estimated 20% increased risk of having another child affected.

Between 30-5-% of people with Autism suffer from seizures.

It is estimated that up to 40% of children with Autism do not speak.

Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls. More specifically that number is 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.

In 2014 the Center for Disease Control determined that approximately 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States. In 2000 this number was 1 in 250 children

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