Simple Checklist Used By Doctors To Diagnose Autism In Infants

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New research suggests that a five-minute survey for parents could detect signs of autism spectrum disorders in babies as young as one. Currently, screening methods allow doctors to determine if a child 18 months and older has a disorder.

The survey asks 24 questions that assess babies' movement, sounds and eye focus, among other things. It has so far allowed researchers to diagnose autism spectrum disorders correctly 75 percent of the time.

Click here for more on how the autism checklist came about.

Visit the Brookes Publishing website to download a copy of the checklist.

Below are the categories and questions that are included in the survey developed by Amy M. Wetherby and Barry M. Prizant.

Emotion and Eye Gaze

Do you know when your child is happy and when your child is upset?

When your child plays with toys, does he/she look at you to see if you are watching?

Does your child smile or laugh while looking at you?

When you look at and point to a toy across the room, does your child look at it?


Does your child let you know that he/she needs help or wants an object out of reach?

When you are not paying attention to your child, does he/she try to get your attention?

Does your child do things to get you to laugh?

Does your child try to get you to notice interesting objects -- just to get you to look at the objects, not to get you to do anything with them?


Does your child pick up objects and give them to you?

Does your child show objects to you without giving you the object?

Does your child wave to greet people?

Does your child point to objects?

Does your child nod his/her head to indicate yes?


Does your child use sounds or words to get attention or help?

Does your child string sounds together, such as uh oh, mama, gaga, bye-bye, bada?

About how many of the following consonant sounds does your child use? Ma, na, ba, da, ga, wa, la, ya, sa, sha?


About how many words does your child use meaningfully that you recognize (such as baba for bottle; gaggie for doggie)?

Does your child put two words together (for example, more cookie, bye-bye Daddy)?


When you call your child's name, does he/she respond by looking or coming toward you?

About how many different words or phrases does your child understand without gestures? For example, if you say, "Where's your tummy," "where's Daddy," "Give me the ball" or "Come here," without showing or pointing, will your child respond appropriately?

Object Use

Does your child show interest in playing with a variety of objects?

About how many of the following objects does your child use appropriately: cup, bottle, bowl, spoon, comb or brush, toothbrush, washcloth, boy, toy vehicle, toy telephone?

About how many blocks (or rings) does your child stack?

Does your child pretend to play with toys (for example, feed a stuffed animal, put a doll to sleep, put an animal figure in a vehicle?