Red flags for possible autism in young children involve difficulties with social communication and interaction.
The following warning signs could mean a child is potentially at risk for autism:
- Not smiling or expressing joy by 6 months
- Not sharing smiles, facial expressions, or sounds back and forth with caregiver by 9 months
- Not responding to name or babbling by 12 months
- Not gesturing back and forth with others (e.g. pointing, showing, waving) by 12-14 months
- Not using words by 16 months
- Not participating in pretend play by 18 months
- Not combining two words together on his or her own by 24 months
- Regression of previously learned language and social skills
If your child shows any of these warning signs, act fast and talk to your pediatrician right away.