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Autism red flags to watch out for

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

Some children with Autism (ASD) show signs within the first few months of their birth. In some children the symptoms may be very subtle and may become evident until 2 years (24 months) or even later. Some children with Autism (ASD) seem to develop typically until around 18 to 24 months of age and then they stop acquiring certain developmental skills, or they lose the skills that they once had. Studies have shown that one third to half of parents of children with an ASD noticed some developmental problems before their child’s first birthday (12 months), and nearly 80%–90% saw developmental problems by 2 years of age (24 months).

Not all children with Autism (ASD) show all the symptoms and signs. Many children who have other developmental delays may also show certain symptoms of Autism (ASD) too. Only a trained professional can tell the difference. This can be very confusing to parents and that is why getting a professional evaluation done is crucial.

If your child is exhibiting more than 3 of the following symptoms your child may be at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The moment you suspect anything do ask your paediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation or a referral to a child psychologist right away:

  • Very few or no big smiles or other warm and engaging expressions

  • Limited or no eye contact

  • Avoids eye contact or no eye contact

  • Little or no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions

  • Little or no babbling

  • Little or no response to name

  • Very few or no words

  • Very few or no meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating)

  • Loss of previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills

  • Little or no back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching, waving

  • Prefers to be alone

  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings

  • Repeat words or phrases instead of replying

  • Resistance to changes in routine or surroundings

  • Limited interests

  • Repetitive behaviours (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)

  • Unusual and intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colours






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