Child Milestones and Autism Spectrum Disorder – What Milestones to Watch For

Finding out if your child has Autism is an important developmental step during your child’s 1 to 2-year checkup. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typical displays as a child having difficulty in areas of behavioral and social development. As parents, it’s important being prepared and vigilant, finding out if your child is experiencing some delays in these areas can be tracked during regular doctor’s appointments, yet require some parent knowledge on what to report during the visit. Being familiar with the typical child development markers is a great first step to identifying concerns and even working towards future goals for all children! Work with your pediatrician if you have doubt in your child’s early development. If you are able to spot some signs early, you can help your child learn how to curve those behaviors and allow them to catch up on those milestone, regardless if they may have ASD.

ABA therapy is focused around this group of patients. After your evaluation and possible diagnosis, ask your doctor for a recommendation of an ABA therapist and seek out different kinds of therapy. Based on the age of your child, and their needed milestones and skills, there are different types of therapy available, such as the Early Start Denver Model for ages 0-3 or Discrete Trail Training for older patients.

Here are some important milestones and skills to note:

As Infants:
Do they turn their head when their name is called?
Are they receptive to your touch, and recognize when are near?
Do they give you eye contact when you speak to them?
Are they interested in playing with you? How do they react when you play with them? Do they exude happiness? Are they not receptive to the
Can they grasp items with their fingers?
Can they express different emotions?
Do they engage in “baby talk”?
Can they communicate with you verbally, or using their gestures to show you they want something?
Do they display tantrums or aggressive behavior?
Do they follow, point or guiding?

As Children:
Are they are infatuated over repetitive behaviors that can include ( ex. tapping, scratching, echoing words or noises, banging their head against walls/tables, rocking back and forth)
Disconnected emotionally with other individuals
Never shares their feelings about what they have done in school (ex. achievements)
Uncomfortable with touch, or being held. (ex. Resent hugs or cuddling)
Do they request for help?
Are they fixated on one toy?
Do they have a hard time transitioning in different settings? Going from a home to the store?

What Might Cause Autism?
Researchers have tried to figure out the real cause of autism but there has not been one true indicator of what the issue might be. There are many environmental, genetics, or even biological factors that can play a large role in causing autism. It is difficult to pinpoint the cause and standardized symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder since each person is very different. Autism has been renamed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to reflect the vast variation of symptoms and concerns that children can display.

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"Chicago ABA Therapy is a boon for special needs kids and parents. They take a play-based, personalized approach and meet the kids where they are. They also go above and beyond - our ABA therapist took time to make sure we as parents understood every aspect of our child's experience, understood how to read his progress reports and generally made us feel a part of his therapy. My child loved all his therapists. Highly recommend the team!"

"We were so happy with our experience with Chicago ABA. We began working with them when our son was almost 4, a few months after his autism diagnosis. It was such an amazing team to work with - everyone was professional, responsive, flexible, and worked so hard for our son to meet his goals, which he did beautifully. We worked together for almost 2 years before he left for kindergarten, and in that time period he met almost all of his goals. We went through several bumps in the road with behavioral difficulties, and the Chicago ABA team did an amazing job helping us problem solve, try new strategies and think of ways to translate those strategies at home. We couldn't recommend them more highly - anyone who works with Chicago ABA will be lucky to have the experience!"