Recognizing the hallmarks of autism in your child

The signs of autism spectrum disorder can show up early – even during infancy. While some children may have symptoms of autism at 6 months old, others will be symptom-free until they are almost 2 years old. Most children with autism begin showing symptoms before the age of 3.

During National Autism Awareness Month, an expert at Childrens HealthSM explains common signs of autism in young children and when to seek an evaluation. Autistic behaviors and symptoms may fall into categories such as: 

  • Social difficulties: All children with autism have social difficulties, though they can vary greatly. 
  • Communication challenges: Along with social difficulties, autistic children often have trouble communicating. 
  • Unusual behaviors or interests: Children with autism may also act strangely with different interests or behaviors.

If you are concerned your child has autism, you should make an appointment with your pediatrician. Autism is diagnosed through watching your child's behavior. Your pediatrician can identify signs that may mean your child has autism and refer you to a pediatric neurologist who specializes in autism. Your pediatrician may also identify signs of autism during a well-baby check.  

Know the early signs of autism.