At What Age Do I Know My Child Is Safe From Developing Autism?

Question: At what age do I know my child is safe from developing autism?

Answer: Ordinarily the symptoms of autism begin prior to age three, usually by age two. But the diagnosis is often made about age three, maybe four. The worst symptoms usually show up between age four and five. If a child gets through age five with no sign of autistic symptoms, it's very unlikely that they would develop anything later short of some sort of brain insult. However it's important to note that sometimes the diagnosis is not made till late because the symptoms were ignored or not noticed earlier. And in such a case we would expect that the symptoms would be traceable back to prior to age three.

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PHOTO: Josh Shaw watches a news conference for USCs football coach Steve Sarkisian in Los Angeles, Calif. on Dec. 3, 2013.
Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News/AP Photo