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If you suspect your child may have an autism spectrum disorder, speak to your pediatrician as soon as possible. Though the symptoms of ASD can vary greatly, there are some key early signs that could be a cause for concern.
One of the most common red flags parents report is that they suspect their child is deaf. Because their child no longer responds to his name, and doesn’t look at them when they speak, they often think there may be a hearing issue. But in fact, the lack of response or eye contact can point to an ASD. Other early signs include: not pointing to things in the environment (most children begin to point around 10 months), not speaking (children usually have single words by 15 months), and not showing interest in other children (children usually want to play with peers even as toddlers).
by 6 months:
by 14 months:
See 6 months and...
by 2 years:
See 6 and 14 months and...
by 3-5 years:
See above and...
The above lists shouldn’t be used to make a diagnosis, but these early warning signs can mean your child is at risk, so it’s important to know what to watch out for. If your child displays a number of these symptoms, speak to your pediatrician. While all children progress differently, if your child has autism, the sooner you find out the better, so that you can begin treatment. By paying attention to when, or if, your child hits key developmental milestones, you can spot potential problems early on.
To learn more about developmental milestones, visit the CDC website
Many children with ASD engage in unusual, repetitive actions known as self-stimulatory behaviors. Parents sometimes refer to this behavior as “stimming” because the behavior appears to be for the purpose of “self-stimulation.” Repetitive behavior can include body movement such as rocking back and forth, and repetitive movement of objects, such as spinning the wheels of a toy car. Other examples include: staring at lights, blinking, wiggling fingers in front of eyes, hand flapping, tensing the muscles of the arms or face, tapping surfaces, making repeated vocal sounds, rubbing surfaces, rocking, spinning, licking or placing unusual objects in mouth, and smelling or sniffing objects or people.
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