Although autism is hard to diagnose before 24 months, symptoms often surface between 12 and 18 months and if it is caught in infancy, treatment can begin early and we can gain much progress from taking advantage of the adolescent brain’s amazing flexibility. If signs are detected by 18 months of age, rigorous treatment may help to rewire the brain and undo the symptoms.
The initial signs of autism entail the lack of normal behaviors and not the existence of abnormal ones. This then is hard to spot. Often enough, the most basic symptoms of autism are misinterpreted as signs of a “good baby,” because the toddler may seem quiet, self-sufficient, and easy going. However, you can detect warning signs early if you know what to look for.
Some autistic infants don’t respond to cuddling, reach out to be picked up, or look at their mothers when being fed.