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Signs of autism in young children

As mentioned previously, early signs of autism should be viewed with caution. There is a reason that health professionals will often only diagnose autism from 2 - 3 years of age.

However some parents feel reassured when they recognise some of the early signs of autism in their child as they can stop blaming themselves for their child's autism and stop questioning their own actions and child rearing choices.

If you are concerned about a child younger than 3 years old I would encourage you to visit your paediatrician rather than search the internet and get yourself stressed by information that may or may not be relevant to your child.

Below are some signs that may indicate autism in babies and toddlers for parents who do want this information. It is also important to remember that babies are different and develop at their own pace so if anything you read here concerns you seek a professional opinion before you convince yourself that your child has autism. 

Birth to 6 months

- Baby may be "too good" or unsettled and easily upset

- Baby may not show when he/she wants to be picked up

- Baby may not babble or smile at people

- Baby may not make eye contact

- Baby's motor skills (head control, rolling, sitting) may appear to develop as           expected

6 months to 1 year

- Baby may not cuddle but rather feel limp or stiff when held

- Baby may appear to be less attached to his/her parents than others of the same age

- Baby may not start to play games such as peek-a-boo or wave at people

- Baby may not start to use single words

- Baby may appear to be uninterested in age appropriate toys

- Baby may be very interested in his/her own hands

-Baby may have difficulty starting to take solid foods

-Baby's motor development may be delayed or inconsistent

2 to 3 years

- Toddler may continue to show limited interest in other people/ children but this may start to improved slightly

- Toddler may treat other people as objects that they use to get their needs met

- Toddler may have limited eye contact

- Toddler may not cuddle but rather feel limp or stiff when held

- Toddler may appear to be less attached to his/her parents than others of the same age

- Toddler may lick or smell objects 



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