Open Search
Open Navigation

Early Signs of Autism

Alliant International University
Published 08/16/2018
3 minutes read
The content of this page is only for informational purposes and is not intended, expressly or by implication, as a guarantee of employment or salary, which vary based on many factors including but not limited to education, credentials, and experience. Alliant International University explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy of the information provided by any prospective employer or any other website. Salary information available on the internet may not reflect the typical experience of Alliant graduates. Alliant does not guarantee that any graduate will be placed with a particular employer or in any specific employment position.

Recognizing the signs of autism early in a child’s life can make a huge difference in their well-being during the early stages of childhood. Recent research confirms that appropriate screening can determine whether a child is at risk for autism as young as one year, and while every child develops differently, early autism treatment frequently improves outcomes, and often does so dramatically. One of the most important things you can do, as a parent, is to learn the early signs of autism and become familiar with the typical developmental milestones that your child should be reaching, and perhaps isn’t.

The following "red flags" may indicate an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in your child, so if they show any of the following “symptoms,” don’t hesitate in asking your pediatrician for a more thorough evaluation of your child:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months of age
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech, babbling, or social skills at any point during this stage of development

By understanding the importance of these milestones, and the general timeline in which they should be occurring, you can develop a pretty good idea one way or the other if your young child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that not one of these “red flags” in isolation, or even two or three of them, is a confirmation of autism in your child, and that you should still always visit a pediatrician or family doctor for further testing if you suspect your child is showing early signs of autism.

There are also other options for you to use before meeting with a doctor. The M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) can help you determine if a professional should evaluate your child. This simple online autism screen takes only a few minutes.

You can also use the Video Glossary from the Autism Speaks Foundation’s website for more information. It contains over 100 video clips illustrating typical and delayed development. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, relative, or friend, it can help you learn the subtle differences and spot the early red flags for ASD.

Though autism spectrum disorders range from mildly to profoundly disabling, understanding the early signs of autism is an important turning point in a long journey that you and your family will make together.

You might also like

Back to Blog
Learn More
teacher with students

How to Become a Teacher Faster with New CTC Guidelines

Find out how your undergraduate credits may reduce testing requirements The CTC (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing)...

Learn More
woman holding tablet sitting on ledge

TESOL vs. TEFL: What’s the Difference?

TESOL vs TEFL Teaching English to someone who is completely unfamiliar with the language can be a foreign experience. Even if you...
Learn More
man and woman studying together

Best TESOL Jobs

If you’ve recently earned your TESOL certification, congratulations! Now that you’ve completed your certification, you’re probably...
Anchor
pass led us here

Start on your path to impact today.