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The Early Indicators of Autism

by Dr. Jared Maloff, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Los Angeles, CA

Autism is a diagnosis that inexplicably, psychologists are seeing more and more both in clinical and school settings. Autism is a spectrum disorder, and children can be diagnosed with Autism, but may present with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Symptoms of Autism are first noted very early in life, normally prior to age 2. Autism is a serious disorder that can be managed, but unfortunately a child with Autism will grow up to be an adult with Autism. People with Autism can learn appropriate social skills, and some high functioning kids and adults with Autism can live productive lives in mainstream society. More severe cases of Autism can render a person dependent upon others for the rest of their lives. There is often such great disparity in the severity of Autistic cases from person to person. Below is a listing of symptoms that parents can observe in infant children with Autism:
  • Does not babble, point, or make meaningful gestures by 1 year of age
  • Does not speak one word by 16 months
  • Does not combine two words by 2 years
  • Does not respond to name
  • Loses language or social skills
  • Poor eye contact
  • Doesn’t seem to know how to play with toys
  • Excessively lines up toys or other objects
  • Is attached to one particular toy or object
  • Doesn't smile
  • At times seems to be hearing impaired
If your child has several of these symptoms, they may need to be evaluated by a psychologist with experience in diagnosing Autism. Autism can be difficult to diagnose, and sometimes other, less severe disorders can masquerade as Autism due to the overlapping of certain symptoms from other psychological disorders. Treating Autism from an early age is crucial in assisting your child to live life in the social world in which we live, and obtaining certain community based services can be of great benefit to children with Autism and their families. For more information about Autism, check out these websites!

Dr. Jared Maloff is a Clinical Psychologist practicing in Beverly Hills, California. He works with a vast array of adult, adolescent and child clients presenting with a variety of symptoms and diagnoses. Learn more about his work or contact him or at (310) 712-5480 for more information.

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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