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Home > Articles > Early Signs Of Autism

Early Signs Of Autism

As many as 6 out of every 1,000 children may be autistic. No one knows what causes this illness, and there is no known cure; however, research has indicated that early detection can provide a better prognosis for the future.

Diagnosing autism can be tricky, as there is no medical test available for doctors to perform. Often the only way for a doctor to even suspect that a child is autistic is through parental observation.

Early signs of autism vary by age and it is important to determine early detection in someone who may have autism. Experts say that you cannot accurately diagnose a child with autism until he or she is at least 3 years of age. There are, however, early signs of autism in infants and toddlers that should be monitored as the child grows. These can include the following:

  • Failure to smile by 6 months of age;
  • Absence of babbling and using gestures by the age of 12 months;
  • Not saying any words at all by the age of 16 months;
  • Unable to say phrases by 2 years of age;
  • The loss of verbal or social skills;
  • Avoidance of eye contact;
  • Seeming to be unaware of the people around him or her.
Because autism is so difficult to diagnose, unrecognized cases may materialize in older children. Since developmental stages are more straight forward, many parents find it easier to recognize early signs of autism once their children reach the age of 5. Things to watch for include:
  • Lack of response to their name;
  • Inability to communicate wants and desires;
  • Delayed language skills;
  • Inability to follow simple directions;
  • Intense or violent temper tantrums;
  • Hyperactivity and uncooperativeness;
  • Lack of knowledge for playing with toys;
  • Preferred solitude; * High level of independence;
  • Walking on his or her toes;
  • The need to follow repetitive patterns;
  • Excessive attachment to one toy.
It is important to realize that any or all of the above early signs of autism could point to many other medical conditions; just because a child displays a few of the symptoms or autisic behaviors does not mean that they necessarily are autistic. If your child has any of these attributes, discuss your concerns with your pediatrician.

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