Autism effects up to 1 in 88 children and one of the most important things you can do as a parent is to know the signs. If your child has developmental delays that is a first sign that there may be an issue and should as parents they should be viewed as red flags.
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
Recognizing some of these signs are critical in properly diagnosing your child and the early the better. The earlier the diagnosis the better for the child as they will be able to get the treatment and therapies needed and this makes a huge difference in the quality of the child’s life. Testing for Autism can start in children in the one year old age range.
New studies may be the breakthrough needed to diagnose some children as early as 6 months of age if they show signs of head lag. Most children by the age of 4 months had the ability to control their head when they were pulled gently to a sitting position. The new study found that 90% of children that were unable to control their head or displayed headlag would eventually develop Autism.
Take a look at the two videos below, one will give you a display of a child at 4 month without headlag and the other video will give you a display of a child that displays signs of headlag. This will give you an idea of what to look for and the difference between typical motor control vs the developmental delay of headlag.
Autism Speaks, ABC News, Kennedy Krieger