Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: What are behaviors in infants and toddlers that are sometimes indicative of autism?
Answer: The diagnostic statistical manual, the DSM IV, does not really address skills for children less than the age of two. But there are some early signs and symptoms that we can be aware of. For instance, in a six-month-old, if that child is not babbling or participating in a back and forth conversation, we can be concerned. If they don't have a social smile or don't appear to be interacting, we can be concerned.
At 12 months, if they're not babbling, if they're not pointing or following a point. If they don't' have any words. And at 18 months, we have to be watching their play, so if there's evidence of ritualistic play or abnormal play -- turning toys over and spinning the wheels rather than taking a toy car and rolling along the table in a toy town.