Autism is generally thought to exist in a child from birth, but the behavioral characteristics or symptoms associated with it may not appear right away. Some parents of children with autism describe their children as being “different” soon after birth. They may be very quiet, “easy” babies. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, they may be very fussy. Their language and other skills often lag behind those of their peers.
Other parents report that their children appeared to develop normally until about 18-24 months of age. Then, suddenly, they seemed to stop developing new skills and often lost skills that they had previously mastered. Parents often report that their child stopped talking around this age and no longer seemed interested in playing with them.
You can learn more about typical developmental milestones on this timeline provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you have concerns about your child’s development, talk to your physician right away. If you want a tool to record and share your observations, download the CDC’s Milestone Tracker App. The earlier you diagnose a developmental delay, the better.