With a new government report showing a continuing surge in autism rates -- 1 in 88 children have been diagnosed with autism or a related condition -- parents may be wondering how to spot the signs in their own child and when to seek professional help.
Babies can start showing signs of autism as early as 12 months. “At
that age, we want to see them initiating social interactions with other
people, laughing easily without being tickled, smiling, gesturing,
babbling, making eye contact,” said Dr. Rebecca Landa, director of the
Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders in
Baltimore. “When those social interactions aren’t present, that’s a red
Her research suggests that about half of children with autism start
showing clear enough signs to be identified before their first birthday.