Development varies significantly. If your child is not meeting the developmental milestones outlined below further evaluation may be beneficial. Autism affects 1 in 110 children. Early detection means earlier intervention. Please feel free to contact our center with questions, concerns, or to determine if your child should have an evaluation.

Birth to six months:

  • Smiles and looks at faces
  • Holds a rattle or toy
  • Listens to voices or noises
  • Lifts head when on tummy
  • Follows moving objects with eyes
  • Babbles or coos
  • Rolls over
  • Pulls to a sitting position holding someone’s finger 
  • Recognizes and reaches for caregiver

By the end of 7 months, many children are able to:

  • Turn head when name is called
  • Smile back at another person
  • Responds to sound with sounds
  • Enjoy social play (such as peek-a-boo)

By the end of 1 year (12 months), many children are able to:

  • Use simple gestures (waving bye bye)
  • Make sounds such as mama and dada
  • Imitate actions in their play (clap when you clap)
  • Respond when told “no”

By the end of 1.5 years (18 months), many children are able to:

  • Do simple pretend play (talk on a toy phone)
  • Point to interesting objects
  • Look at an object when you point at it or tell them to look
  • Use several single words unprompted

By the end of 2 years (24 months), many children are able to :

  • Use 2 to 4 word phrases
  • Follow simple instructions
  • Become more interested in other children
  • Point to picture or object when named

By the end of 3 years (36 months), many children are able to:

  • Show affection for playmates
  • Use 4 to 5 word sentences
  • Imitate adults and playmates (run when other children run)
  • Play make-believe with dolls, animals, and people (feed a teddy bear)

By the end of 4 years (48 months), many children are able to:

  • Use 5 to 6 word sentences
  • Follow 3-step commands (get dressed, comb your hair, and wash your face)
  • Cooperate with other children

*Adapted from Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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