Could your child have autism? With one in 88 children being diagnosed with autism, that’s what many new parents want to know. Autism is generally not diagnosed until age three, but signs of developmental delay can begin to appear as early as six months of age.
Parents have the power to spot red flags of autism in its earliest form. So what are the signs of autism in infants 6 months to 1 year old? Keep reading to find out…
Rarely smiles when approached by caregivers
Infants typically smile when smiled at, but babies with developmental delays often don’t respond to smiles from caregivers.
Rarely imitates expressions
Infant does not try to imitate sounds and movements others make, such as smiling and laughing, during simple social exchanges.
Delayed or infrequent babbling
By six months of age, most babies start babbling or produce repetitive syllables.
Does not respond to his or her name
An infant should generally respond to his or her name with increasing consistency from 6 to 12 months of age. Lack of responsiveness to one’s name is a sign of developmental delay.
Does not gesture to communicate
By 10 months of age, an infant should begin to communicate through gestures.
Poor eye contact
Most children with autism shy away from eye contact. Lack of eye contact is therefore a common warning sign parents should look out for.
Seeks your attention infrequently
Infants exhibiting this developmental delay express less reliance on parents’ care and attention.
Unusual body movements
Infants who may later be diagnosed with autism may repeatedly stiffen their arms, hands, or legs. They may also display unusual body movements, such as rotating the hands on the wrists, uncommon postures, or other repetitive behaviors.
Does not reach up when parents try to pick him or her up
When parents reach for their children to pick them up or to hold them, infants generally respond by reaching back up toward the parents.
Delays in motor development
These delays include slowed rolling over, pushing up, and crawling.
If you suspect something is wrong with their child’s development, or that their child is losing skills, talk to your pediatrician or another developmental expert. We need to identify delays early in development so that intervention can begin when children’s brains are more malleable and still developing their circuitry.