One of the earliest signs of socialization in a baby is the smile. This occurs at around the age of 2 months in a full term baby. This is the time they also start to coo and respond to the outside world.
If this milestone is significantly delayed, a red flag has been raised. At this time babies will recognize a human face and start to follow the face.
They will also orient to sounds of voices but they will not recognize or turn to their name at this time. This is a common concern raised by parents. Babies do not start to recognize their name until the end of the first year.
Not responding to their name at the appropriate age can be a sign of autism. This usually occurs by the end of the first year but if it does not it can also mean your child is not hearing well.
Poor eye contact, preferring to play alone, lack of imaginative play, repeating words or phrases without knowing the meaning, and repetitive or ritualistic behaviors are all signs of autism in the second year.
Resistance to physical contact or not pointing as a means to communicate needs, are other signs of a problem. There are also signs you can look for that can help put your mind at ease if you are concerned about autism.
A smiling, responsive playful baby with good eye contact is a good sign.
One of the earliest signs I look for to rule out the diagnosis of autism however is whether the baby is pointing to things.
This is a sign that the baby wants to communicate with the world and is always a good sign even if other areas are delayed.
The comprehension of language is also a very good sign and helpful when evaluating development.
If the toddler understands commands and can follow the commands it makes any lack of expressive language much less worrisome.