ParentingSpecial needs

There are differences between a language delay and autism. Today you will learn about language milestones and also red flags for autism. When your child is not talking and you are not sure why, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. It is important to know the facts, so that you can advocate and help your child. In general, there are things we can do as parents everyday to embed opportunities to work on communication and social skills in the home environment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a wealth of information about developmental milestones. Developmental milestones can give us a better idea of what our child should be doing at different times in their development. Milestones matter! If your child is not doing these things, it is important to share your concern with your pediatrician. Below I will highlight language based milestones. See the comprehensive list here.

At 2 months of age most babies:

  • Begin to smile
  • Look at their parent
  • Coo
  • Pay attention to faces
  • Turn head towards sounds

At 4 months of age most babies:

  • Smile spontaneously, especially at people
  • Like to play with people
  • Begin to babble
  • Cry in different ways to show a variety of needs
  • Recognize familiar people and items at a distance

At 6 months of age most babies:

  • Like to play with others, especially familiar people
  • Respond to sounds by making sounds
  • Like taking turn with parent while making sounds
  • Respond to own name
  • Begin to string vowels together and say consonant sounds (m,b)

At 9 months of age most babies:

  • Understand no
  • Make a lot of different sounds like mama and baba
  • Uses a finger to point at things
  • Play peek-a-boo

At 12 months of age most babies:

  • Are shy or nervous around strangers
  • Repeat sounds or actions to get attention
  • Use simple gestures like waving bye
  • Try to say words you say
  • Say things like mama, dada, uh oh

Red flags for autism

The following are RED FLAGS for autism. Autism Navigator lists 16 early signs of autism by 16 months.

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