Research has begun to reveal hints of autism practically from birth (one recent study connected the rare developmental disorder to flawed cells in the mother's placenta). Watch for these first-year warning signs, from Laurie LeComer, M.Ed., author of A Parent's Guide to Developmental Delays, and discuss your observations with your doctor.
Birth to 2 months
- Your baby doesn't wake himself up from sleeping to feed.
- He doesn't look around at people or objects in the environment.
- He gazes at your mouth or chin rather than at your eyes.
- He's unusually quiet or cries excessively for no apparent reason.
3 to 5 months
- Your baby avoids eye contact.
- He doesn't imitate sounds (by 5 months).
- Your baby isn't laughing.
9 to 12 months
- Your baby doesn't show clear signs of an attachment to a favored adult or caregiver.
- He doesn't respond to his name when called.
- He's not babbling.