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.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS IN BABIES AND TODDLERS has an excellent guide in looking for signs and symptoms of autism in babies and toddlers. They are listed below. suggests the following delays would warrant an immediate evaluation but your child’s primary care provider.

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 ask for help or make other basic requests
Doesn’t follow objects visually
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 the following.

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