Early Signs of Autism

Autism is a qualitative difference in relating and communicating.  The Autistic child can relate and communicate but does so uniquely according to their individual differences.  In addition, many children with Autism experience fluctuations in intensity of processing sensations in their daily experience. Sometimes sensory input can be overwhelming and too much and sometimes more sensory input is needed to register a sensation.  Some children experience a mix of highs and lows in sensory processing.   It is important to pay attention to a child's response to sensory information because it impacts a child's ability to regulate and remain in a calm alert state so they can take in the world.  The most important thing a parent can do is to remain calm and seek to comfort and understand your child's individual differences.   It is also important to see help from your pediatrician, because an early diagnosis is key to getting the type of intervention that will best meet your child's needs.  Below I have listed some early signs of Autism and have included a link for the CSBS-DP which is a checklist that will help you determine whether or not your child may be at risk for an Autism Spectrum Disorder or social communication challenges.

In the FIrst Year

    Will not make eye contact
    Will not respond to parent’s voice
    Will notpoint
    Will not respond to their name
    Will not smile or laugh in response to others behavior

    Rarely smiles
    Rarely tries to imitate sounds and movements
    Babbling is delayed or infrequent
    Does not use gestures to communicate by 18 months.
    Rarely seeks attention
    Repeatedly stiffens arms, hands or legs, or uncommon postures
    Delays in motor development