Know the Signs

Early identification can change lives.

Autism is treatable. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies do show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes. For more information on developmental milestones, visit the CDC’s “Know the Signs. Act Early” site.

Here are some early warning signs to look for in the children in your life:

  • Lack of or delay in spoken language (no babbling by 12 months / no words by 16 months)
  • Little or no eye contact or facial expressions  (no big smiles or joyful expressions by 6 months / no pointing, showing or reaching by 12 months)

Here are some later developmental warning signs:

  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects

Any or all of these signs themselves do not constitute an autism diagnosis, and there is no medical test that can offer a diagnosis either.  Only a trained physician or psychologist can do that with autism-specific behavior evaluations.