Early Autism Detection

One of the many worries I have as a mama-to-be is the threat of my child developing autism. As a resident of New Jersey the rate of autism in infants high, about 1 in 94 (2007).  Scary . . .  I know. In reading an old Fit Pregnancy magazine (Spring 2006), there was a quick snippet called Early Autism Detection written by Laurie Stephens, PH.D. In the passage she highlights a book titled, Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps by Nancy D. Wiseman. In the book the following is stressed:


  1. Find a pediatrician who routinely screens for developmental milestones and takes time to listen to parental concerns.
  2. Parents should watch for "autism's 'red flags'"
  • lack of social smiling by 6 months
  • no babbling, imitating of sounds or use of gestures (like waving or pointing) by 12 months
  • no meaningful two-word utterances by 24 months


Wiseman's most valuable advice according to Stephens is:

"The important thing isn't how a child compares to his cousins or playmates; it's whether his own developmental path is a healthy one."