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Signs of Autism

The Autism Speaks - Autism Spectrum Disorders Video Glossary is an innovative web-based tool designed to help parents and professionals learn more about the early red flags and diagnostic features of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

If you are concerned about your child, then speak with your family doctor.  You may also call the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre (Intake) at 613.737.0871 ext. 4425. Early intervention is important.

From Autism Ontario

Communication

  • No babbling by 11 months of age
  • No simple gestures by 12 months (e.g. waving bye-bye)
  • No single words by 16 months
  • No two-word phrases by 24 months (noun + verb, e.g. "baby sleeping")
  • No response when name is called, causing concern about hearing
  • Loss of any language or social skills at any age

Behavioural

  • Odd or repetitive ways of moving fingers or hands
  • Oversensitive to certain textures, sounds or lights
  • Lack of interest in toys, or plays with them in an unusual way (opening and closing toy parts rather than playing with the toy)
  • Compulsions or rituals (has to perform activities in a certain sequence; prone to tantrums if rituals are interrupted)
  • Preoccupations with unusual interests, such as light switches
  • Unusual fears   

Social

  • Rarely makes eye contact when interacting with people
  • Does not play peek-a-boo
  • Doesn't point to show things that he/she is interested in
  • Rarely smiles socially
  • More interested in looking at objects than at people's faces
  • Prefers to play alone
  • Doesn't make attempts to get parent's attention; doesn't follow or look up when someone is pointing at something
  • Seems to be "in his/her own world"
  • Doesn't respond to parent's attempts to play, even if relaxed
  • Avoids or ignores other children who approach them
"Research indicates...that early intervention in an appropriate educational setting for at least two years during the preschool years can result in significant improvements for many young children with autism spectrum disorders." (Autism Speaks)

From Autism Speaks

If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an immediate evaluation:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter;
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter;
  • No babbling by 12 months;
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months;
  • No words by 16 months;
  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months;
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age.

 

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