Feb 29

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New Advice for Recognizing Early Signs of Autism

Credit: UCLA

Credit: UCLA


New Advice for Recognizing Early Signs of Autism

A new study gives parents hope and the ability to recognize the signs of autism at an earlier stage. Parents and caregivers know that early intervention can make a dramatic difference in a child’s life, so paying attention to these signs is crucial. The University of California has created a list of early signs that can help you.

You can start looking for these signs in a baby and continue to monitor the child’s development. One of the top signs is a baby who does not respond to his or her name. Although this could indicate other problems, the combination of this sign with other issues can help parents who suspect their child may have autism.

Researchers at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies mention that their list of early signs of autism is focused on behaviors in babies that may be missing or only seen at very low rates. They wanted to create a list that helped guide parents who were concerned about their child’s development.

The early signs are:

1.  Baby doesn’t respond to his or her name.
2. Baby doesn’t have joint attention. (This means the child won’t look in the    direction you’re pointing or watching.)
3. Baby won’t imitate others.
4. Baby won’t respond to others in an emotional way.
5. Baby won’t participate in pretend play. (This means the child won’t pretend to be someone or something else.)

Researchers caution parents that these are not the only early signs of autism that can appear. In addition, children may exhibit some of these problems but not have the condition. Even if children have multiple signs on the list, it is still important to get an official diagnosis and talk to your doctor about autism. Early intervention can help children tremendously and change their lives.

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  1. 1

    Thank you for this info. I’m glad they are researching this more.

  2. 2
    Patty wright

    I took my son to a doctor when he was young and the doctor said it was too early to tell if he had autism. I noticed when he was about two that he was ” different”. He would stare at the ceiling fan turning for hours. He would do things over and over for hours. Finally I took him to a specialist and he was diagnosed with autism.

    1. 2.1

      Patty some doctors believe that before the age of 6 they can’t really give a diagnosis of autism that much can still happen…with rapid emotional growth during this time period, they don’t want to label a child. By 6 or 7 they are more likely to give a diagnosis.
      It is good you noticed early…the earlier a child starts getting help with or without a diagnosis, the better they will do.
      Our grandson started getting help without a formal diagnosis at first. It was so good to begin treatments early!

  3. 3
    patricia delgado

    I was a preschool teacher for 7 years and they trained us to notice the signs of developmental delays and I was able to spot it by 14 months on my daughter. Today she is a happy 5 year old with high functioning ASD

    1. 3.1

      That’s wonderful patricia!

  4. 4
    violet taylor

    this is a lll really good advice. my son is on the spectrum and these are all things i noticed early on.

    1. 4.1

      Violet, thank you for sharing what you have learned with your personal experience!

  5. 5
    Sarah L

    These are good things to look for. I’ve never had kids.

  6. 6
    Kathleen M Smith

    This is great information for families and caretakers of infants. It makes such a difference if children are diagnosed early.

  7. 7
    Marnie G (Derrick Todd)

    Early recognition and intervention is so critical. This information is great. I really hope pediatricians are sharing this with the parents of their patients.

    1. 7.1

      It’s hard to know which pediatricians are current…so it’s really important to do your own research and be your own advocate 🙂

  8. 8
    Nancy Hilderbrand

    I wish I had known the early signs of Autism eight years ago. My grand daughter is autistic but we didn’t know until she started talking

    1. 8.1

      At least you now know and can work with her. I can feel your sadness.

  9. 9
    Victoria Shiel

    useful info

  10. 10
    veronica lee

    Thanks for sharing this very helpful information that will surely benefit parents and caregivers.

  11. 11
    Kara Marks

    Thanks for the information. Since we have some autism in our family, I watch my grandkids closely.

  12. 12
    Rochelle @ Cover2Cover

    Such a nicely condensed article and easy to read and understand. Thanks.

    1. 12.1

      Thank you Rochelle

  13. 13
    samir hmdme

    great article! this will definitely help alot of people identifying autism if their kids have it so they deal with it sooner and better, thanks you!

  14. 14

    Good information. THis will help many families.

    1. 14.1

      I hope so Barrie

  15. 15
    Kimberly Lynn

    These are really helpful tips.. my cousin has Autism.

  16. 16
    Jo-Ann Brightman

    This is wonderful tips and advice. It is important not to panic and to go see a doctor if you are worried about the child.

  17. 17
    Alicia Hewitt

    Thank you for this information. It makjes me so happy that there is so much research on Autism!

  18. 18
    Rachel Craig

    It is good that there is research regarding Autism. Early intervention may well be beneficial, yet we read and hear of delays in formal diagnosis. Often it may be difficult or impossible to get early intervention, assistance, support etc without a diagnosis. It would seem that there is a NEED to focus on the child, and for services etc to support the child to reach his or her potential without the need for a formal diagnosis or label. Meanwhile continuing to watch and observe the child aiming to give best care, allowing the child to reach maximum potential.

    We have knowledge that there are adults who have Autism. Susan Boyle, singer having been diagnosed as an adult. Susan has spoken of her difficult childhood in regards to schooling / education. I would have thought that maybe there would be a NEED to address individuals who need support etc in regards to education ( we are encouraged to be Life Long Learners) and / or communication. So that we are all given the opportunity to reach our potential. Susan’s lack of employment may have been attributed to her medical condition not being detected and diagnosed earlier when early intervention may have been of assistance to her. She is a very talented singer. With support maybe she would have had more potential. “Every child ( individual ) counts ( matters)”.

    1. 18.1

      Kindergarten exams are looking for children on the spectrum so they can begin treatment then. We found it was difficult to get a “formal” diagnosis before 6 or 7 years of age. But one can read some of the natural things that do help and begin them. Also if someone suspects their child or family member when they are under age 6 we had good luck with treatment from a naturopath. There is so much that isn’t known yet…

  19. 19
    Jennifer George

    Very interesting. Thanks for the information.

  20. 20

    There seem to be more and more children being born autistic today. We need as much information possible to help children and also for the parents to help themselves. Thank you.

  21. 21
    Margaret Gallagher

    This is great that early diagnosis is vital for support

  22. 22
    kimberley ryan

    great information thank you

  23. 23
    Kim W

    Thank you for that information, I believe a mother can sense when things aren’t right and knows, even if the specialists and Drs are sceptical and says she’s fussing.

  24. 24

    This is good information. Moms and friends’ moms may pick up on things like this, as they are observing more often. A first time mom might not realize what and when to expect their child to be able to do things.

  25. 25
    Terri Irvin

    Important work is being done in the field of study of autism. At the blog “Science News” Autism Speaks, they noticed that small shots of vitamin B12 given to autistic children, may make a small difference. I think we have have so much more information in the next ten years.

    1. 25.1

      Thanks for sharing that Terry.. I will check into that.

  26. 26
    ellen beck

    Good info! So many kids on the spectrum who are diagnosed early can get assistance and their parents can help things along too It is important not to over react though….

    1. 26.1

      Absolutely! And I share because my grandson is on the spectrum and some of these tips have helped him!

  27. 27
    Sarah L

    Public perception of autism has changed so much over the years.

  28. 28
    kristen visser

    These are great points to keep in mind! we found out our daughter was autistic shortly before turning two. thankfully we caught it earlier then some but still wish we could have recognized the signs earlier. We weren’t familiar with autism and the characteristics of it. We knew something was off but then we would do Q cards with her and she would know her abc and #1-#10 and we thought ok she is fine. Until one day she had a crazy melt down at the park and my husband turned to google. we then discovered what it was and got her in to the doctors right away for guidance

    1. 28.1

      I’m so happy that you know what is going on with your daughter. Getting help early is such a key to their success. Our grandson is doing well being mainstreamed in school. I hope the best for your daughter as well.

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