There's growing evidence that early intervention and persistence can make all the difference.
It's not as uncommon as you might think—a Mom is concerned about her child's development but she's dismissed by her doctor. However, there are some signs that you can observe that will tell you if your child needs a proper evaluation.
A delay in a child's development could signify autism, according to the CDC. Here are some important milestones for your child:
At 12 months:
Enjoys imitating people while playing
Reaches sitting position without help
Responds to simple verbal requests
At 2 years old:
Demonstrates increasing independence
Begins make believe play
At 3 years old:
Sorts objects by shape and color
Use 4 to 5 word sentences
Turns book pages one at a time
"Red flags" that require immediate evaluation:
No babbling, pointing or gestures by 12 months
No single words by 16 months
No two-word spontaneous phrases by 24 months
Loss of language or social skills by any age
For Moms who suspect their children have autism, pediatrician Dr. Gwenn says, "Don't panic. There are a lot more resources for children who have autism. Not all autism dooms a child for a poor quality of life. Get an assessment. With love and attention and early intervention these kids do really nicely. Embrace it and say, 'Now we're going to find a way to help our child to live the best life possible.'"
To download "The Modified Checklist For Autism in Toddlers," click here.