Signs Your Child May Have Autism

Are you worried that your toddler or preschooler may have Autism? Has your child’s preschool/kindergarten teacher expressed concerns about behaviour or social skills? Has your child’s Speech-Language Pathologist suggested an assessment? Below are some warning signs of a possible risk for autism.

Red flags in toddlers:

By 6 months:
• No regular big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions

By 9 months:
• No regular back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions

By 12 months:
• Lack of responding to name consistently when called
• No regular back-and-forth gestures such as pointing (with index finger), showing, waving or reaching

By 16 months:
•  No spoken words beyond “mama” or “dada”

By 24 months:
• No meaningful 2 word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating

Red flags in pre-schoolsers:

• Delays in language or speech skills
•  Intense temper tantrum
• Any odd repetitive movement patterns such as flapping arms/hand, pacing, walking on tip toes, jumping on the spot, rocking, twirling
• Avoids eye contact
• Difficulty adapting to changes in schedule or environment
• Preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest – often involving numbers or symbols (e.g. memorizing or reciting information about shapes, letters, maps, train schedules, sports statistics)
• Obsessively lines up toys or small objects
• Spends long periods watching moving objects such as a ceiling fan or focusing on one particular part of an object such as the wheels of a toy car
• Reacts unusually to sights, smells, textures or sounds
• Seems unresponsive to people entering/leaving, as well as efforts by others to attract the child’s attention

While it may seem like your child is too young to be assessed by a specialist or you are worried about your child being “labeled”, the most recent research shows that the earlier a child is diagnosed with Autism and receives behavioural treatment, the chances for improvement and success increases.

The Possibilities Clinic offers Autism Consultation for Children 6 years and under, with a doctor’s referral. We also offer treatment options, including individual or group therapy.   For more information please call 416-482-5558 or email.

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