What are the Signs of Autism in Babies?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2019
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Some symptoms of autism in babies include when a baby doesn’t make eye contact, doesn’t smile and doesn’t respond to his or her name. A big indicator of autism in children and babies is regression in communication skills or learning abilities. Although this won’t be possible to spot in infants it can often become noticeable after around 12 months.

Although many parents find it difficult to look for problems with their baby, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of autism early. If autism in babies is discovered early then the successful treatment of certain symptoms has a greater chance of success.

Initially the primary sign of autism in babies is an inability for the child to smile. Children of around six months should usually be able to smile and look happy. If a child never does this, it may be a sign of autism. It’s important to remember that although there are many potential signs of autism, they can be confused with other conditions. For this reason, a doctor should always be used to diagnose the problem.

Usually by around nine months, a baby should be starting to exchange sounds and noises with other people. There should also be some sign of increased variety of facial expressions. Again, if this development is not present then it may be a sign of autism.


By the age of 12 months, it is normal for a baby to start responding to his or her name. The baby should also usually be starting to babble without the use of actual words. A lack of these behavioral characteristics will usually be most noticeable for the parent and may be difficult for a doctor to spot independently during a short visit.

Although these are guidelines for signs of autism in babies, every child is different. Some children naturally develop sooner than others so there is no hard rule. Even so, the parent is often the best person to notice signs of autism in babies and hence should watch the child closely.

Many children with a form of autism will start to speak or communicate in a normal time frame and then regress. Although this isn’t strictly a sign of autism in babies as it won’t happen until a bit later on in life, it is important for parents to be aware of. Regression doesn’t happen in all children with autism, but is a major indicator of the condition if it does. For example, if a child starts to use single words and then regresses to not speak at all then a doctor should be contacted.


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