Watch for the Red Flags of Autism (The following red flags may indicate a child is at risk for atypical development, and is in need of an immediate evaluation.) In clinical terms, there are a few “absolute indicators,” often referred to as “red flags,” that indicate that a child should be evaluated. For a parent, these are the “red flags” that your child should be screened to ensure that he/she is on the right developmental path. If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an 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
* This information has been provided by First Signs, Inc. ©2001-2005. Reprinted with permission. For more information about recognizing the early signs of developmental and behavioral disorders, please visit or the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/actearly.