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Does My Child Have Autism?

Are you concerned that your child may have autism? Interventions that can make a meaningful difference in your child's life are more likely autismto be successful if they're started as early as possible. Developmental pediatrician Dr. Alison Smoller proudly serves patients from all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania at Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey in Monmouth County, NJ, office. She shares a few signs that you may notice if your child has an autism spectrum disorder.

Autism signs in babies and toddlers

If your baby or toddler has an autism spectrum disorder, you may notice that your child doesn't:

  • Smile by 6 months
  • Respond to his or name by 12 months
  • Attempt to speak or babble by 12 months
  • Wave or point to objects by 12 months
  • Speak any words by 16 months
  • Enjoy cuddling
  • Imitate your movements and facial expressions
  • Make eye contact during feedings
  • Play with others

Autism signs in older children

Autism spectrum signs can be difficult to spot in babies and toddlers, particularly for first-time parents. As your child grows older, the signs may be become more noticeable and might include:

  • Difficulty making friends
  • Lack of interest in the actions of other children or people
  • An aversion to being touched or hugged
  • Poor eye contact
  • No interest in playing group games or those that involve pretending
  • Trouble understanding other people's feeling or points of view
  • Lack of response when people try to initiate a conversation
  • An obsessive interest in certain topics, toys or objects
  • Unusual speech patterns, incorrect use of language, or failure to speak
  • Repeating words or phrases over and over
  • Strange posture or an unusual gait
  • Hand flapping, rocking or other self-stimulatory behavior
  • Inability to understand humor and sarcasm or interpret facial expressions
  • Difficulty following simple instructions
  • Strong reactions to loud noises, textures or smells
  • Emotional distress if there even small change to the regular routine

Keep in mind that the presence of one or more of these signs doesn't automatically mean that your child has an autism spectrum disorder. Confirming the diagnosis starts with a visit to our Monmouth County office for a thorough evaluation. If your child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, we can recommend a variety of helpful therapies geared toward his or her specific diagnosis.

Does your child display any of these autism signs? If you live in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, schedule a visit with Monmouth County, NJ, developmental pediatrician, Dr. Smoller of Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey by calling (732) 660-0220.

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