Experts agree that the most common early autism signs start to show when children are aged between two to three years of age. Every child is unique and children with autism are no different. In some cases, parents claim to have noticed the early autism signs in infants (for instance, babies who do not babble). But majority of the children grown typically until about 18 months of age. That’s also the time when a child with autism is likely to fail in achieving developmental milestones.
Here are some common “red flags” for early detection of autism.
- Resistance to holding and cuddling
- Slow to laugh or smile
- Cannot point to objects—like a cat or dog—and neither shows interest
- Avoids eye contact
- Does not respond when his/her name is called out
In toddlers and preschoolers
- Failure to involve in pretend play, like caring for a doll, by 18 months
- Failure to understand the feelings and emotions of other people
- Speaking in an unusual tone or rhythm, especially without any emotion
- Answering questions incoherently or not answering at all (could be signs of nonverbal autism)
- Repeating certain words and phrases
- Developing some specific routines
- Showing temper tantrums even when there’s a minor change to the routine
- Tendency of self-injury, like banging the head on doors, and other similar action
- Obsessive interest in some activities, like spinning the wheels of a toy car
- Spastic actions like flapping of hands or spinning the body continuously
- Unusual preferences about food
- Reacts to smells, sounds, touch, and other senses in unusual ways
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