Know the symptoms of autism

April 28, 2014

Renew. Rebuild. Recover. A blog written by the staff of West Michigan Community Mental Health.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we reprint this information from the Autism Society of America (

Autism Prevalence Rates Increase According to CDC, Autism Society Responds

Bethesda, MD (March 27, 2014) – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announce new autism prevalence rates. According to the CDC report, the prevalence rate for autism is now 1 in 68, which is an increase of over 30% from the 2008 CDC report.


The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorder may or may not be apparent in infancy (18 to 24 months), but usually become obvious during early childhood (24 months to 6 years).

As part of a well-baby/well-child visit, your child’s doctor should perform a “developmental screening,” asking specific questions about your baby’s progress. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:

  • Does not babble or coo by 12 months

  • Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months

  • Does not say single words by 16 months

  • Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months

  • Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age

Any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. But because the symptoms of the disorder vary so much, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by a multidisciplinary team. This team may include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant or other professionals knowledgeable about autism.

For more information about autism, see the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s website for their campaign, “Learn the signs.  Act early.”

Renew.  Rebuild. Recover. is brought to you by West Michigan Community Mental Health.  All images are for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted is a model.

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