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Guide to Early Signs of Autism in Young Children

As parents, we want what is best for our children. We love watching them learn and grow. We cheer with them as they reach their milestones.  But it can become worrisome when we notice our child might not be keeping up with their peers at the pace we had hoped for.

Signs of autism can start fairly early, and knowing what to look for will allow you to get your child the necessary help to be their best self.

My World ABA explains the early signs of autism in children.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

According to the CDC, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is considered a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. These differences can affect the way a person learns, expresses themselves, communicates, and interacts with others around them.

ASD affects everyone differently. Some individuals with ASD might have very few noticeable symptoms, while others may need a lot of assistance with everyday activities.

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How Young Can Children Show Signs of Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder generally starts before a child turns 3. You might see early symptoms begin before a year old, but some children develop normally until about age 2 before showing any signs. 

Typically around 2, children may stop hitting normal milestones, causing parents and healthcare providers to suspect that there may be something going on developmentally.

What Are the Early Signs of Autism?

There are several signs that occur during different ages that might cause parents and healthcare providers to suspect ASD. Note that just because a child shows some of these behaviors, it does not confirm that they have ASD. Every child is different. These are just commonly shared behaviors that you may want to discuss with a pediatrician.

9 Months to 1 Year

An autistic child at this age MAY NOT:

  • Smile when smiled at
  • Babble or try to communicate
  • Make eye contact
  • Respond to their name

1 to 2 Years

An autistic child at this age MAY NOT:

  • Look at something when you direct their attention
  • Show facial expressions when they are happy or sad
  • Point at things they want
  • Show you things they find interesting, like a toy
  • Say their first word
  • Show interest in other children
  • Make eye contact with people
  • Recognize when someone else is hurt
  • Try to get your attention
  • Gesture or wave at people

2 Years and Older

An autistic child at this age MAY NOT:

  • Try to play with other children
  • Share excitement
  • Pretend to be something or someone else when playing
  • Sing or perform for you in any way

What Can I Do As A Parent?

If you suspect your child might have autism spectrum disorder, you need to bring it up with their healthcare provider. They will know the proper avenues for getting your child diagnosed and advise you on how to move forward.

No matter your child’s diagnosis, your main goal as their parent is to be the best support system you can be for them. Understanding their disorder and getting them the assistance they need will help them to be happy and successful in life.

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My World ABA Autism Services in Springfield and Joplin, MO

My World ABA is the leading center for ABA treatment in Southwest Missouri. Our team works with your child using certified ABA therapy techniques to help them learn more about themselves and the world around them. We support your child by creating an inclusive environment where they can play, build friendships, and be themselves. 
To learn more about our services or answer additional questions, visit our website online or call (417) 818-5784 today.