Your child might not have an autism diagnosis, but if you have some concerns, you should watch how they develop and tell your doctor about what you notice.
They might have a developmental delay, which means they are not learning the skills they should be learning as they grow.
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Developmental Delay is when your child is not doing certain things that kids usually do at their age.
There are different kinds of development, and different milestones: things a child usually can do at a certain age.
Kids learn things at different ages, so there is a big range of what is "normal". But an evaluation can tell if your child may need some help to catch up.
Here are some examples of different kinds of milestones:
Physical things like holding up their head at 3 months old, or sitting up at 9 months.
Cognitive (thinking and learning) skills, like imitating a movement at 1 year old, or knowing some body parts at age 2.
Communication skills, like saying "ba-ba-ba-ba"at 9 months, or waving "bye-bye"at age 1.
Social and Emotional skills, like laughing at 6 months, or showing affection for caregivers at age 1.
Click here for more about Developmental Milestones. You can look up what your child should be doing at a certain age. (It will open in a new tab on your screen.)
Sources: Center for Parent Information and Resources, CDC
Here's what you can do:
Keep track of how your child develops.
Click here for more about Developmental Milestones. (It will open in a new tab on your screen) You can see what your child should be doing at a certain age.
Take your child to all their check-ups and tell the doctor about any concerns you have.
Ask the doctor to do developmental screenings and autism screenings. Doctors should do these when your child is 9 months, 18 months, and 24 months old. They will ask you to fill out a questionnaire about your child, and they will test for certain skills.
Keep reading! We'll tell you how to learn more.
If you have any concerns about your child, get them checked as soon as possible! If they're having any trouble with development, the earlier they get help, the more likely they are to make progress.