During the first couple of years of life infant development happens in spurts and at an incredible rate of change. Most infants grow into walking and talking toddlers by the middle of their second year of life, and the pace at which these changes occur can vary tremendously across children. No two children develop at the same pace or at the same time and it can be difficult for parents to know when help vs time and patience is needed. Family members often encourage the ‘sit back and wait’ approach based on their own experiences (“Sammy didn’t talk until he was 5 and now look at him!”). Also, pediatricians may overlook concerns on their short well baby visits repeating the mantra, “All kids develop on their own time.” or “He will grow out of it”. The varying, and sometimes contradicting information parents are provided, leaves them frustrated, confused, and a gut feeling that something is not as it should be.
Due to the research and data collected in the last decades around Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), an abundance of evidence is available that early intervention with a provisional diagnosis can radically change the trajectory of child’s development.
If you or others in your family observe one or more of these signs in your 12-month or older child, talk to your doctor or contact us for guidance.
- Not respond to their name by 12 months of age
- Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14 months
- Not play “pretend” games (pretend to “feed” a doll) by 18 months
- Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
- Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
- Have delayed speech and language skills
- Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
- Give unrelated answers to questions
- Get upset by minor changes
- Have obsessive interests
- Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
- Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
(Source: Centers for Disease Control, 2018)