Diagnosing Autism In Children: Center for Behavioral Health at Woods

When Are Most Children Diagnosed with Autism?

What Are the Symptoms of Autism?

Autism symptoms can manifest differently depending on a child’s age and developmental stage. Here’s a breakdown of what you might observe in babies and toddlers (2-24 months), younger children (ages 2 to 4) versus older children (ages 5 to 16):

Babies and Toddlers (2-24 months):

  • 6 Months: limited eye contact, difficulty engaging with caregivers, and delayed or atypical response to their name.
  • 9 Months: limited interest in pointing or sharing experiences, absence of gestures like waving, and difficulty imitating simple actions.
  • 12 Months: limited use of single words, such as “mama” or “dada,” and difficulty responding to simple requests or commands.
  • 16 Months: limited vocabulary expansion, reduced joint attention (e.g., not looking at what others are pointing to), and delayed social development.
  • 24 Months: limited or absent speech development, difficulty engaging in imaginative play, and a preference for repetitive activities.

When to Seek a Professional Assessment for Autism