Red Flags for Autism

Knowing and acknowledging these flags in your child can make a difference in their treatment. Early intervention of these symptoms is key to success in cases with children with autism. As autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months of age, early diagnosis and treatment is very important in helping and healing your child, and in some cases their recovery.

Many sources list the red flags for autism as being:

  • Non-response to their name by the age of 12 months
  • Not pointing at objects to show interest (for example, pointing at an airplane flying overhead) by the age of 14 months
  • Not playing ‘pretend’ games (for example, pretending to ‘feed’ a doll) by the age of 18 months
  • Avoiding eye contact and wanting to be alone
  • Having trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • Having delayed speech and language skills
  • Repeating words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Giving unrelated answers to questions
  • Getting upset by minor changes
  • Having obsessive interests
  • Flapping of their hands, rocking their body, or spinning in circles
  • Having unusual reactions to the way things sounds, smell, taste, look or feel

If you suspect autism in your child, it’s best to seek a diagnosis from a medical practitioner qualified to make such diagnoses. As soon as a diagnosis is made, treatment can follow.  With the right diagnosis and early treatment, your child can live a healthy happy life.

Amy-Clare Swart