Autism can show up in children as young as 12 months of age. Here are the signs of autism at age 1.
What does autism look like for 12-month olds?
Are you concerned that your infant may be autistic? Babies develop at different paces, so this list does not serve as diagnosis. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when looking at traits of autism that could begin to emerge for one-year-olds babies.
Autistic one-year-olds might:
- cry less when alone or cry or scream more when held; they may also have only 1-2 people who can calm them quickly
- cry more when surrounded by certain fabrics or clothed in general (sensory aspect)
- babble instead of trying to form words
- have favorite toys and/or carry certain toys around everywhere
- be more attached to comfort objects and distraught when you take them away
- hesitate to explore new environments
- be clumsy or drop toys (dexterity)
- be drawn to certain colors/sounds/textures (sensory and stimming aspects)
- have repetitive hand movements (stimming)
- be slap happy (stimming), especially when they are in stressful or overwhelming situations
Autistic 12-month-olds might not:
- look at you when you are speaking
- look in your direction when you say their name
- like baths (sensory)
- start speaking/babbling
- bond with you like a non-autistic person
- sit without help
- follow where you’re pointing
- wave hello or goodbye
Notes about autism symptoms at age 1
Speak with your pediatrician to determine what milestones your baby should be meeting. While these lists illustrate how autism might show up in a 1-year-old, autism diagnoses are not considered reliable until age 2.
Autism easily mimics other developmental disorders, and everyone has a sensory limit. Not looking at you when you’re speaking or say their name, and babbling, are also symptoms of Deafness or could be due to another developmental diagnosis.
If your one-year-old struggles to sit without help and often falls backwards even with support, they might be attempting rock. Rocking is a common form of autistic stimming.
Frequently asked questions about early signs of autism
Autism is not a disease, therefore it needs no cure. The most beneficial resource for any autistic child is, and always will be, surrounding them with fellow autistic people.
Are you concerned about your one-year-old child and seeking answers? Share about it in the comments below.
Resources about Autism for Parents
This is not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your child’s pediatrician or other health professional if you have concerns about your child’s development.