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Does your baby show signs of Autism

Updated on August 8, 2011
Does your baby have autism?
Does your baby have autism?

When your child seems to be learning, developing, or growing slower than other children of the same age it can be worrisome and discouraging. The first step when you have any concerns is to take your child to the pediatrician. Ask for the pediatrician's opinion about your child's overall development, any physical or facial features that seem unusual. Also, any defects present at birth of the heart, kidneys, or other organs should be detected and monitored closely.

For many years, the diagnosis of autism has centered on a child s social interaction - from poor eye contact to lack of language skills. Although the autism community agrees that early intervention is key to effective treatment, the telltale signs of this disorder usually don t reveal themselves until the age of two or three. But what if it were possible to detect the potential for autism within the first year of life?

While a typical baby achieves milestones of righting himself, crawling, sitting and walking through specific movements, the autistic child's ladder of motor development progresses differently, for example, in asymmetrical positions, lagging reflexes or impaired sense of balance.

However, an important breakthrough makes it possible to spot precursors of these disorders in infants once you know what to look for the signs and symptoms of autism in infant babies. The earlier autism is diagnosed and therapy is begun, the greater the chance your child can be helped.

Symptoms of autistic baby

Here are seven general areas where atypical brain development makes itself known in autistic babies.

  • Symmetry: When your baby begins reaching for objects, he should be equally capable of reaching for them with either his right or left hand. Or when your baby props herself up from his stomach, his hands and arms should be positioned more or less the same on both sides of his body.
  • Reflexes: Reflexes such as sucking, startle, and others reflexes should appear in all babies. Your baby's health care professional can find out easily if your baby has nine key reflexes at the right time in his development.
  • Ladder of Motor Development: Every baby must go through every stage of development in order for the brain to mature properly. Key milestones include raising head off the floor in about 4 to 6 weeks; supporting her raised head with chest and arms (8-12 weeks); rolling from her back to her stomach in about 3 months; starting crawling in about 6-10 months; standing in about 8 to 10 months and walking by 13 or 14 months.
  • Rolling: Typical rolling from back to stomach involves a rotation of the head in the direction of the roll, and a corkscrew rotation of the body that is in the same direction.
  • Sitting: Sitting is important for brain development. A baby with typical brain development should be coordinated enough to sit, balanced, without the support of parents or pillows, at about 6 months of age.
  • Walking: A baby who is having trouble walking and does not get help may have problems acquiring future motor abilities.

Remember: The earlier autism is diagnosed and therapy is begun, the greater the chance your child can be helped. See a medical professional if you suspect your baby is not keeping up with the normal timeline of development.

Alert your pediatrician if you notice any of the following:

  • By 2 to 3 months, your baby is not making eye contact.
  • By 3 months, not smiling at you and recognize the sound of your voice.
  • By 6 months, no laughing or giggling
  • By 9 months, no babbling.
  • By 1 year, not recognizing when you call his name
  • By 1 year, showing disregard for vocalizations, but has a keen awareness of environmental sounds.
  • By 1 year, no back-and-forth communications with you.
  • By 16 months, no words.
  • By 18 months, not pointing to things that interest him.
  • By 24 months, no two-word meaningful phrases.

To learn more about the specific symptoms to watch for, along with the exercises you can do with your baby early and often at home to help his brain develop, check out the new book " Does your baby have autism " and read the information and reviews at Amazon right now.

Osnat and Philip Teitelbaum, Husband-and-wife researchers in the field of "infant movement analysis" related to autism are co-authors of the book "Does your baby have autism?". This dedicated wife-and-husband team has worked for nearly two decades to develop ways of detecting signs of potential autism or Asperger's syndrome by examining a child's early motor development. By studying the patterns of sitting, crawling, and walking in typical infants, and comparing them with those of children who were later diagnosed with autism, the authors have been able to pinpoint movement patterns that appear to be the precursors of autism and Asperger's.


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    • profile image

      TinHinsi 4 years ago

      Hi there, does anyone have any ideas about the most simple way to get their little one to sleep?

      I have read many pages with ideas but I am still finding it very hard.


    • profile image

      kathy 5 years ago

      I have a 20 month old boy who does not speak at all. The only things he says is "baba", "yeah", " boo" and makes some animal sounds but is not able to say really words. He also makes sounds to communicate and points to things when he wants them. In addition to this, I have also noticed that he likes to spin around a lot and clap his hands fast and frequently. He is a very hyper and energetic boy. I am really concern about this whole situation and I am worry he could be suffering from autism specially because of his lack of communication. Any advices will help greatly. Thanks .

    • profile image

      newmama 5 years ago

      My 4 1/2 month old doesn't make eye contact, and rolls his eyes up to the right all of the time. He has been doing this for at least 6 weeks. He smiles, laughs, and plays, but he doesn't roll over yet. (He is a little chunky, so I wonder if that is why he doesn't roll over). I think he may be autistic, I know something isn't right. He had a heart murmur at birth which has healed, but he also has a bicuspid aortic valve. Can anyone provide me with some insight? Has anyone experienced anything similar? My pediatrician says "let's wait and see", but obviously, I am not quite content with that... email me at

    • profile image

      Lily 6 years ago

      Anyone know if not bending at the knees for a 14 month old has anything to do with autism. She is not walking and never crawled. She flaps her arms and only says mama. Mom isn't worried, grandma is!

    • profile image

      sarah 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Pete Xander 6 years ago

      The first poster who spotted a spelling "erroe" [sic] said that the word "writing" was misspelled . . . as in "righting himself." Of course, "righting" IS correct (righting a ship, etc) and the person posting made other spelling/syntax errors. Er, "erroes." Just make sure the people doing the analysis of YOUR child is competent. You CAN keep going and going until you find a person who agrees with you, with whatever you THINK might be wrong with your child. Please just make sure that you are alert, aware, and cognizant of milestones your child may be missing, and do not go looking for crises that don't exist.

      My son could stand at 4 months by grasping my two index fingers held horizontally, had a vocabulary of a couple of dozens words -- used in association with things and correctly -- at 6 or 7 months, and yes, was an extremely advanced child. Do not hold your son or daughter to another person's seemingly SuperBaby developmental markers; neither should you, at the other extreme, ignore obvious problems or even worrisome items and be oblivious to the need for professional examination of your child.

      With whatever scenario you end up with, you child is deserving of all of the love and attention you can provide. My cranky colicky daughter only stopped crying when I would put her in her car seat, drive around at midnight -- in winter, in the snowy mountains of southern California -- singing the U. of Oklahoma "Boola-Boola" fight song, but substituting "Kristen-Wisten" for the lyrics ( yeah -- I was born in and have lived all of my life in SoCal. Go figure!). She'd laugh and giggle, resume crying when I stopped, laughed again when I began singing again (this at 3-4 months!), and would fall asleep, thus allowing us to go home and sleep for real. That's NOTHING, compared to what the parents of autistic kids must do, but love and persistence are good values for every parent and vital needs for EVERY child.

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      Emma samuels 6 years ago

      i have 5 children two of my boys are autistic,and my oldest boy has adhd.children all do things in their own time whether they are autistic or not.they all do things in their own time.just praise them when they do.8 of the boys in my family have autism and all turned out fine.

    • OfTheHeart profile image

      Stephanie 6 years ago from New York

      Good info! I finished reading the book by Jenny McCarthy where she discusses her and her son's battle with autism. I definitely agree that it's extremely important to catch it early rather than later. Milestones are a guideline not a true timeline of when all children should be meeting certain standards. My daughter did not learn to sit on her own until much later than the suggested time frame but she was on point with everything else. I also feel that this condition does not have enough awareness because of the medical community's nonchalant attitude in the cause of autism.

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      Shayna 6 years ago

      Yeah, once again I find this information not accurate only because it us called a spectrum for a reason. And there is no reason to get parents in a huff with the two years of their childrens life. I have two children with ASD and one with a developmental delay, does it run in families, well it does in mine . But honestly , none of their symptoms are the same except sensory issues. My children met every mild stone , speech was the obvious issue and then closer to two it became more obvious that they were different from a NT. My point is do bot stress about not meeting miles stones , birth weight, and all of the other so called research. Trust your instinct , you know your child best and go from there

    • profile image

      Mls 6 years ago

      I have a 4 year autistic son & I also have a 14 month old who seems neurotypical. Lately I've been so paranoid that he's autistic too. I'm not sure if he's obsessed with cars because his brother is - & is maybe picking up brothers mannerisms. Very confused and don't think I can handle having two autistic children.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      A friend's son was diagnosed at birth with the generic "autism" in 1991. I never knew how that was done, having not found a diagnosis guideline for infancy yet -- However, the son revealed Asperger's in a couple years, but best of all, in 2010 - 2011 he no longer showed any symptoms of Aspergers or any other autisms on the spectrum. Treatments were successful and family worked with him constantly on a daily basis.

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      mom 7 years ago


      Please please don't give up!

      autistic children are more work than many others, but they are so rewarding in other areas. The more you put in, the greater the rewards. As with many other disabilities, the right teaching methods and the right family structure makes all the difference. Forget doing medical research for the time being, and try instead to find a support group of parents/carers who can give you good advice. There are many run through health centres/hospitals or on-line. Another essential resource is a book on how to structure your home life. This can be the difference between success and failure for an autistic child. There are many good books on the subject - try or

      But please don't stay alone in this - there are so many other parents in your situation - reach out to someone!

      Wishing you the best!

    • profile image

      MONI 7 years ago


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      Granny007 7 years ago

      I have a 15 month old grandbaby that I have watched every day since he was tiny. There have been some odd things all along. Weird flapping of his hands against the highchair tray when he was little. Now that he isn't doing that anymore, he is shutting his eyes when I feed him. In the last week he is also shutting his eyes when he is upset and walking backward until he bumps into something. He will not feed himself and is still eating babyfood....very limited table food. Seems to have a texture issue. Everytime I try to take him to a public place to eat, he is miserable. Won't sit in the highchair, yells loudly, won't eat or drink. He is fine once I take him outside. He cries sometimes when he hears loud laughing or singing. He isn't talking yet, just made up sounds and mostly yelling. Fine motor skills are very poor when he tries to pick up food, dropping what is in his hands most of the time. There are many other quirky things. I'm dreading his next doctor visit, as it seems there is something new every day lately. On the other hand, he is very affectionate, on his own hugs and good eye contact. What can I expect? Is this Autism?

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      Gemma 7 years ago

      My son is severely autistic he was a terrible sleeper as a baby and he developed superbly in every milestone except his speech he is almost five and still only says mum mum, as a mum of four I can tell you all babies develop differently and you cannot diagnose autism till at least 18 months I have a 6 month old baby and I have to wait and hope he isn't autistic like his brother

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Good information ! More parents should be aware of these, than struggle through to find out what's wrong with their kid.

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      mary weaverling 7 years ago

      @kate I have a 8 year old who has Autism and slept fine until he was 18 months. We had to start giving him melatonin to fall asleep at night, otherwise he'll be up until 12am and up by 4am.

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      Kate 7 years ago

      Anyone with a child with autism.. did they sleep a lot as a baby?

    • profile image

      ola sultan 7 years ago

      thank you for publishing this article it is too useful iwas searching for answers for my questions about my baby and iget it from this article and i will read this book to know more my problem is my 8months baby doesnot care about learn clapping or waving bye bye he is always busy of watching things around him than learn how to wave or clap so iam worry about him

    • belliott profile image

      belliott 8 years ago

      Very informative. Thanks for sharing the information.

    • elegantmem profile image

      elegantmem 8 years ago from Charlotte

      Good Hub...I noticed my son's autism fairly early (about 15 months), but of course everyone told me to "stop worrying" and that "he'll catch up". Good thing I didn't listen. I started his therapies early and it has made a big difference. He was formally diagnosed when he was about 26 months. I often wonder if he would have made more progress if I had caught it even earlier.

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      anthony moore 9 years ago

      There is a spelling erroe on the link page as well as this one. The word writing is spelled righting. Just wanted to let you know.I found this site during research of walking an autism. I work for a scool district in WA and have a student who recently began walking only in straight lines and at right angles. He also will take steps backwards and very small steps forward.