My Child Might Have Autism What are the early warning signs of autism? A child with an ASD might: Not respond to their name by 12 months Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14 months Not play “pretend” games (pretend to “feed” a doll) by 18 months Avoid eye contact and want to be alone Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings Have delayed speech and language skills Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia) Give unrelated answers to questions Get upset by minor changes Have obsessive interests Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel What do I do if I have concerns? If you think your child might have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, or acts, contact the Autism Tennessee Helpline at (615) 385-2077, ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a referral to a specialist who can do an in-depth evaluation of your child. Specialists who can do an in-depth evaluation and make a diagnosis include: Developmental Pediatricians (doctors who have special training in child development and children with special needs) Child Neurologists (doctors who work on the brain, spine, and nerves) Child Psychologists or Psychiatrists (doctors who know about the human mind) Research shows that early intervention services can greatly improve a child’s development. In order to make sure your child reaches his or her full potential, it is very important to listen to your concerns and obtain an evaluation. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).