The Importance Of Early Diagnosis Of Autism And How To Recognize The Early Signs

One of the essential steps you can take as a parent or a caregiver in looking after your child is to be familiar with the early signs of autism and learn the usual developmental milestones that they need to be approaching. Ideally, it could make a lot of difference if you detect this condition in your kid as early as 18 months of age.

However, regardless of the age, the diagnosis is made, you shouldn’t lose hope. With adequate care and treatment, the effects of autism can be reduced in your child, so they can learn, grow, and lead a normal life.

The Importance Of Early Diagnosis Of Autism And How To Recognize The Early Signs

Importance of Early Diagnosis of Autism

Autism is a term representing a spectrum of closely linked disorders that share a set of core symptoms. When Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, appears in infants in early childhood, it causes delays in several fundamental areas of development like learning to express themselves, play, and relate with family, friends, and others.

Just like autism signs and symptoms vary widely, so do its effects. While some children who experience autism show only mild impairments, others struggle to overcome more obstacles. But all kids with ASD have challenges, to a certain extent, in these 3 areas:

  • Engaging in verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Interacting with others and their surroundings
  • Thinking and behaving in a flexible manner

Concerning the causes and the best treatment method of autism, there are varying opinions among health-care givers, parents, as well as experts. However, there is one irrefutable fact that everyone agrees on: Getting early and intensive intervention is key. For kids at risk, for kids that show early signs, this can make a huge difference.

Some scientific findings have even supported the notion that the younger humans are, the greater the adaptability of our brain. That’s why it is particularly important for the child at risk of ASD to get diagnosed and treated early as being provided early therapy could encourage the young brain to redirect itself around those neural pathways with defects.

Some individuals are of the opinion that being diagnosed with this condition is unnecessary or even undesirable. Some persons may even say, after all, diagnosis is nothing but a label. But it remains essential to consider the possibility that a label can make one understand one’s child or oneself better. Such understanding usually results in greater acceptance and, most notably, greater access to the needed assistance the kid deserves.

Signs of Autism

The timing and severity of the early signs of this condition have wide variations. In some children, there could be hints within their first months, while in others, symptoms get obvious as late as when they are age 2 or 3. Not every child with ASD has all the signs. And several children who do not experience autism even show a handful of these symptoms. For this reason, a professional evaluation is very essential.

When you notice the following red flags, your child may be at risk of autism, and you shouldn’t delay in getting medical help from your family doctor or pediatrician:

At 6 Months of Age

  • They don’t laugh wholeheartedly at all or just do so occasionally, or show other joyful, pleasant, and friendly expressions
  • They make little or no eye contact

At 9 Months of Age

  • Your child makes little or no back-and-forth exchange of smiles, sounds, or similar facial expressions

At 12 Months of Age

  • They make little or no babbling
  • Your infant gives little or no response to their name
  • They do show little or no back-and-forth gestures like showing, pointing, waving or reaching

At 16 Months of Age

  • They utter very few words or none at all

At 24 Months of Age

  • Your kid could only utter very few or no coherent two-word phrases

At Any Ages

Other than the ages stated above, here are some of the signs to be on the lookout for at any age:

  • Avoidance of making eye contact
  • Loss of speech skills, previously acquired; babbling or poor social skills
  • Constant love for solitude
  • Delayed stages of language development
  • Finding it hard to understand the feelings of others
  • Constant repetition of words/phrases
  • And others

Onset or Worsening of Mental Health Challenges

If a child’s ASD is not diagnosed, it can severely affect their mental health state. If they don’t get extra support, then it can be hard and disorienting without adequate mental health care. According to the National Autistic Society, at least 1 in 3 grownups with autism have severe mental health problems as a result of lack of support. Such conditions can be depression, anxiety disorders as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Few of these issues can be treated with proper support and using items like therapy weighted blankets.


In conclusion, it is essential to note the fact that each case of autism spectrum disorder uniquely shows its symptoms and can become obvious at several different points in the life of a child. Parents are usually the first to notice warning signs, even though they will most likely be unable to state the specific cause of the signs categorically. For this reason, as a parent, you need to be watchful about these concerns, even though they may not point to any severe condition.

There are several pieces of clear evidence showing that delaying diagnosis for infants at risk of autism could lead to adverse effects on their development. You need to know that children who experience this condition won’t outgrow these ASD symptoms at a later stage in life. If they do not get the help they deserve, the symptoms will exacerbate and get more acute. Thus, you need to get professional evaluation and treatment for your child early if you notice some of the signs highlighted above.

Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via Welcome to

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments