Did you know an accurate diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be made as early as 24 months of age yet the average diagnosis is not made until age 5?! This is concerning because these children at-risk are missing out on therapy during their critical development years. Early intervention helps decrease behavioral issues and increase educational performance.  Below is a list of communication milestones that all parents, caregivers, and medical professionals should be informed of.   
 

  • Smiles at people (birth–3 months) 

  • Coos and babbles when playing alone or with parents (4–6 months) 

  • Giggles and laughs (4–6 months) 

  • Uses sounds and gestures to get and keep attention (7 months–1 year) 

  • Points to objects and shows them to others (7 months–1 year) 

  • Imitates different speech sounds (7 months–1 year) 

  • Uses a lot of new words (1–2 years) 

  • Asks who, what and where questions, like “What’s that?” “Who’s that?” and “Where’s kitty?” (1–2 years) 

If your child is not meeting these milestones, it does not necessarily mean they have ASD; however, it is something to be aware of and an evaluation by a licensed speech-language pathologist can determine the significance of delay. In order to qualify for speech-language services, a child does not have to be diagnosed with ASD. A speech-language pathologist can diagnose and treat the speech and/or language delay before any formal ASD diagnosis is made.  

 

For additional information regarding communication development visit http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/chart.htm