WHAT ARE THE EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF AUTISM?
A child with an ASD might:
- Not respond to their name by 12 months
- Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14 months
- Not play “pretend” games (pretend to “feed” a doll) by 18 months
- Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
- Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
- Have delayed speech and language skills
- Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
- Give unrelated answers to questions
- Get upset by minor changes
- Have obsessive interests
- Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
- Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE CONCERNS?
If you think your child might have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, or acts, contact the Autism Tennessee Helpline at (615) 385-2077, ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a referral to a specialist who can do an in-depth evaluation of your child. Specialists who can do an in-depth evaluation and make a diagnosis include:
- Developmental Pediatricians (doctors who have special training in child development and children with special needs)
- Child Neurologists (doctors who work on the brain, spine, and nerves)
- Child Psychologists or Psychiatrists (doctors who know about the human mind)
Research shows that early intervention services can greatly improve a child’s development. In order to make sure your child reaches his or her full potential, it is very important to listen to your concerns and obtain an evaluation.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).