Autism Behavioral Checklist

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Autism Behavioral Checklist

Parents and physicians often do not recognize the early signs of Autism, a tragic, debilitating disorder. Exacerbating this problem, most autism diagnostic tests pediatricians use today are made for two-year-olds. Adding insult to injury, it can take parents up to two years to find and enroll their children into autism treatment programs—making it hard to help their children at a critical time. Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., director of the University of Washington Autism Center, has determined through research the following signs to aid parents in detecting autism symptoms as early as four months. If you detect any of these behavioral signs in your child, discuss it with your pediatrician and ask for a referral to have your child screened or for a second opinion if your doctor dismisses your concerns.


Autism Behavioral Checklists:


At 4 months: Does your child:

  • Follow and react to bright colors, movement and objects?
  • Turn toward sounds?
  • Show interest in watching people’s faces?
  • Smile back when you smile?


At 6 months: Does your child:

  • Relate to you with real joy?
  • Smile often while playing with you?
  • Coo or babble when happy?
  • Cry when unhappy?


At 9 months: Does your child:

  • Smile and laugh while looking at you?
  • Exchange back-and-forth smiles, loving faces, and other expressions with you?
  • Exchange back-and-forth sounds with you?
  • Exchange back-and-forth gestures with you, such as giving, taking and reaching?


At 12 months: Does your child:

  • Use a few gestures, one after another to get needs met, such as giving, showing, reaching, waving, and pointing?
  • Play peek-a-boo, patty cake, or other social games?
  • Make sounds like “ma”, “ba,” “na,” “da,” and “ga”?
  • Turn to the person speaking when his or her name is called?


Social/Communication Red Flags:

If your baby shows any of these signs, seek immediate evaluation:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age