What Are the Signs of Autism?

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Parents naturally worry about their kids’ milestones. When will he/she start talking? Why hasn’t the crawl turned into a walk?

Increased attention on autism is prompting many parents to search for signs of the disorder. Dayla Saylor Combs, a registered nurse and rehabilitation liaison with Baptist Health Corbin, says children with autism might exhibit the following signs:

  • Doesn’t respond to his or her name by 12 months
  • Isn’t pointing at objects to show interest by 14 months
  • Doesn’t play “pretend” games, such as peekaboo or patty-cake by 18 months
  • Avoid eye contact and prefers to play alone
  • Exhibits delays in speech and language skills
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over
  • Is upset by minor changes in schedule
  • Flaps hands, bangs head or spins excessively

Don’t panic. Any of these things happening once or twice is normal, but if these signs are repeatedly present for four to six weeks, you should talk to your child’s pediatrician. “Anytime parents have concerns, they can bring them up in their well-baby checkups,” Combs said.

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