Is Your Child At Risk For Autism?

Does your 18 month old’s language development seem slow?

Has your child lost words that they once mastered?

Is (s)he unable to follow simple commands such as “Bring me your shoes?”

When you speak to him/her, does (s)he look away rather than meet your gaze?

Does your child answer to their name?

Do you or others suspect hearing loss?

Does (s)he have an unusually long attention span?

Does your child often seem to be in their own world?

*If you answer yes to any of these questions, your child may have a developmental delay*

 

Typical Milestones for an 18 month-old

Language and Social Skills

  • says 8-10 words you can understand (pronunciation may still be unclear)
  • look at a person who is talking to them
  • ask specifically for their mother or father
  • use “hi,” “bye,” and “please,” with reminders
  • protest when frustrated
  • ask for something by pointing or by using one word
  • direct another’s attention to an object or action
  • become anxious when separated from parent(s)
  • seek attention
  • bring toys to share with parent
  • act out a familiar activity in play (as in pretending to take a bath)
  • play alone on the floor with toys
  • compete with other children for toys
  • recognize herself in the mirror or in pictures
  • enjoy being read to

Sensory and Thinking Skills

  • identify an object in a picture book
  • laugh at silly actions (as in wearing a bowl as a hat)
  • look for objects that are out of sight
  • put a round lid on a round pot
  • follow simple 1-step directions
  • solve problems by trial and error
  • identifies parts of the body
  • understands and is able to point to and identify common objects

Motor Skills

  • like to pull, push, and dump things
  • pull off hat, socks, and mittens
  • turn pages in a book
  • stacks 2 blocks
  • carry a stuffed animal or doll
  • scribble with crayons
  • walk without help
  • run stiffly, with eyes on the ground
  • feeds self
  • frequently imitates

Autism is a developmental disability that impairs social and language development.  It occurs in families from every class, culture, and ethnic background.  It is not a mental illness, it is neurobiological and its symptoms can be greatly reduced by early diagnosis and treatment.

If you are concerned about your child’s development, please consult your family doctor or pediatrician about autism screening.

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