Saturday, October 15, 2011

At What Age Does Autism Spectrum Disorder Begin?

Autism spectrum disorder can be complicated to diagnose because there are no set symptoms that everyone can look for. It varies from child to child and so does the severity. Each disorder has a range of symptoms that sometimes can imitate more than one condition. However, with a parent's awareness and a doctor's diagnosis, a child's autism spectrum disorder can be diagnosed and progress made.

Signs that Autism spectrum disorder should be suspected

If by the age of twelve months your child is not making cooing sounds or babbling like babies do by this age, you may want to mention it to your Pediatrician. Your child should be gesturing at the age of twelve months; pointing, waving hello or good-bye, grasping at toys or a bottle. When your child doesn't do any of these then you may want to talk to your Pediatrician by the time the child is twelve months old. By the age of sixteen months, a child should be able to say their first word.

This is a single word that is plain, simple, and easy to interpret however if your child does not say the word by this age then you may also want to mention it to your child's doctor to make him aware of it. He or she may want to send your child to a speech therapist to determine if there is something else causing the interruption in speech or if your child could possibly have the autism spectrum disorder. By the age of two, your child should be saying two-word phrases without assistance or without mimicking you. If your child has started talking but suddenly stops saying anything or suddenly has a change in their social skills no matter what age, then you need to mention that to your doctor.

So a child can begin developing symptoms of autism spectrum disorder as early as twelve months of age but the most common is around sixteen to eighteen months when you are sure that the developmental milestones are not being reached. Your child may not make eye contact with you by this age, may have trouble pretending to play, cannot imitate you, has delayed communication skills, cannot point to people, objects, or animals to have you look at what they see, or cannot show attention to anything.

By the age of three, autism spectrum disorder symptoms are easy to recognize and should be treated as quickly as possible to help the child understand and learn to live with the symptoms too. They will need support from their parents, siblings, family members, caregivers, teachers, friends, neighbors, and more. Autism spectrum disorders can control how the day goes for everyone in the house so its important to seek help as soon as you find out whether your child has it or not. If your child is suffering from autism, you need to team up with other parents who may have children who are dealing with autism as well.

When you notice that your child is not reaching developmental milestones then you need to make your doctor aware even if he or she does not think that anything is wrong. Keep a watchful eye on your child and when it is time for the next developmental milestone to be crossed he or she may catch up and make it however if they do not then your doctor needs to listen to your concerns because you are the one taking care of your child and you are his or her advocate.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit

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