Recent statistics show that 1 in 68 children are now being diagnosed with autism. While diagnosis is on the rise, a child typically is not diagnosed by a professional until he or she is over two years old. However, there are signs that could indicate your child is on the spectrum as early as six months of age. Signs and symptoms can vary, as can the severity of the symptoms. Be sure to monitor your child’s development, and consult your doctor if anything concerns you. It’s important to note that autism in infants can be recognised by a lack of normal behaviour, rather than the presence of strange behaviours.
1.) DELAYED MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
Has your child experienced significant delays in motor development milestones, such as rolling over, pushing themselves up, and crawling?
2.) REPETITIVE BEHAVIORS
Does your child engage in repetitive behaviours such as stiffening their arms, hands, or legs? Do they display unusual body movements like rotating hands on his wrists? Do they sit or stand in uncommon postures?
3.) LACK OF GESTURING
Does your child gesture at objects or people to communicate? Do they wave goodbye, point, or reach for things? This is a milestone that is typically reached by 9 or 10 months old.
4.) INFREQUENTLY SEEKING ATTENTION
Does your child initiate cuddling or make noises to get your attention? Do they reach up toward you to be picked up? Disinterest in seeking a loved one’s attention or bonding is a sign your baby may eventually have difficulty relating to others, which can be a struggle for those on the spectrum as they grow up.
5.) POOR EYE CONTACT
Does your child make limited eye contact with you and
other loved ones? Do they follow objects visually? Severe lack of eye contact as the baby grows can be an early indicator, as it is a form of communication and comprehension.
6.) UNRESPONSIVENESS TO NAME
Is your baby increasingly unresponsive to their name from 6 to 12 months of age? Parents who see this in their child are often concerned it may be hearing loss and are unaware it can be a sign of autism. If you see this behaviour in your child, be sure to monitor the signs and consult a doctor.
7.) DELAY IN BABBLING & COOING
Is your child making “baby talk” and babbling or cooing? Do they do it frequently? Your baby should typically reach this milestone by 12 months.
8.) RARE IMITATION OF SOCIAL CUES
Does your child imitate the sounds and movements of others? Do they share expressions back and forth? Infrequent imitation of sounds, smiles, laughter, and facial expressions by 9 months of age can be an early indicator of autism.
9.) LACK OF SMILING
Does your child smile back at you when you give them a warm, joyful smile? Does your child smile on their own? By the age of six months, your infant should be giving you big smiles or happy expressions.
Those were the top indicators of autism in infants. Want to learn more? Head on over to The Autism Site, and watch this video about detecting autism in your baby!