Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that is characterised by difficulties with social communication and restricted or repeitive behaviours.
The autism diagnosis age and intensity of autism’s early signs can vary widely. Some infants can show symptoms in their first months. In others, behaviours become obvious often around the ages of 2 or 3.
Not all children with autism show all the signs. Many children who don’t have autism show a few. That’s why professional evaluation is crucial.
The following may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder.
By 6 months
- Few or no big smiles or other warm, joyful and engaging expressions
- Limited or no eye contact
By 9 months
- Little or no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions
By 12 months
- Little or no babbling
- Little or no response to name
- Little or no back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving
By 16 months
- Very few or no words
By 24 months
- Very few or no meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating)
At any age
- Loss of previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills
- Persistent preference for solitude
- Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Delayed language development
- Unusual and intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colours
- Restricted interests
- Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia)
- Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings
- Repetitive behaviours (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)
If you are concerned that your child may have an autism spectrum disorder we encourage you to speak to a health professional about this. Psychologits play an important role in the diagnosis of autism and will be able to assist in this regard.
Contact us on 6381 0071 for more information.