Is Autism Present From Birth, At What Age Do Symptoms Emerge, And When Is Autism Usually Diagnosed?

Dr. Stefani Hines answers the question: 'Is Autism Present From Birth?'

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: Is autism present from birth, at what age do symptoms emerge, and when is autism usually diagnosed?

Answer: Autism is a neurobiological condition and has a developmental presentation, so it develops over time and you realize as an infant is getting older, as a toddler is getting older, that they miss key developmental milestones. So, the issue is more of a developmental presentation.

Although in this country it's not infrequent for us to diagnose children with autism over the age of three, a lot of children have warning signs of autism at around 18 months or younger.

In fact some of the new data is showing us that we can diagnose children with autism about 50 percent of the time in as young as 14 months of age.