One in 166 kids
born today will have autism, but some autistic children don't show
signs as a baby. Many times, the child is 2 or even older before
signs of the disorder are noticeable.
Schwarzkopf loves to swing just like any other 4-year-old. But
Trevor isn't like every other little boy. He has autism.
"Trevor couldn't hold
his own head up until he was 10 months old," his mother, Lin, said.
Just months after
Trevor was born, his mother knew something was wrong -- she saw the
children just don't seem to be developing normally," Autism
researcher Dr. Jennifer Elder, of University of Florida in
Elder says the younger the child, the
harder the diagnosis. Early warning signs include if your 1-year-old
doesn't babble or coo. And if they don't gesture by then, that's
also sign. Children should say single words by 16 months and
two-word phases by 24 months.
"There is another
group that starts to develop normally and for some reason its like
the light switch is turned off," Elder said.
That's what happened
to 13-year-old David McCormac. He was 3 when his parents noticed
"I noticed him saying
certain words, and then he wouldn't say them anymore," his mother,
Loss of language is
one of the primary warning signs of autism. More red flags: If the
child doesn't respond to their name and can't explain what they
than asking the parent for something, will take the parent's hand
and use it like a tool to get something," Elder said.
Other signs: If your
child can't follow directions, if they walk on their toes, avoid eye
contact, and don't smile when smiled at.
"Go with your gut
feeling," Elder said. "If they feel like something is wrong, get the
Children can be
diagnosed as early as 6 months old, but normally autism is detected
closer to 18 months of age.