Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

What Are the Earliest Signs of Autism? the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Say That Early Intervention Methods Can Greatly Improve a Child's Development. If You Suspect Anything, Don't Wait!

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

What Are the Earliest Signs of Autism? the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Say That Early Intervention Methods Can Greatly Improve a Child's Development. If You Suspect Anything, Don't Wait!

Article excerpt

If you have recently had a child, getting to know the early warning signs of autism can be a huge advantage for you and your family.

For example, did you know a child as young as one year old can show signs of autism, according to Autism Speaks? And research suggests, if you already have one child with autism, your risk of having another autistic child increases by about 20 percent, says Daniel Openden, vice president and clinical services director of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC).

Early intervention is your best bet, which is why understanding the earliest warning sings of autism is so important.

What are the early warning signs?

The following is a list of early warning signs that should serve as "red flags" to get your child checked, from SARRC and Autism Speaks:

* No good eye contact with you: babies learn through engaging with others.

* No large smiles or other happy expressions by six months.

* No variety of sounds (i.e. ba, ma, da) starting around six months.

* No interest in exploring the world around them.

* No back-and-forth sharing of sounds and facial expressions by nine months.

* No babbling by 12 months.

* No single words by 16 months.

* No meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months.

"Thus, far, research presented by experts at several autism conferences suggests that, while we typically cannot reliably diagnose autism until children are about two years old, the earliest signs of autism may begin to emerge between six and 12 months of age," Openden says. …

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