In the earlier months of 1-9 months your child should already show signs of smiling, cooing or show signs of emotional happiness with you and others; an absence of these things can be a symptom of early autism.
By 9 months and into the next 3 months infants who are developing normally will begin to engage in exchanging or mimicking sounds they hear as well as facial expressions. They should be reacting in some way to being spoken to, tickled or should respond positively to music and other delightful sounds. If your infant does none of these things or has a blatant disinterest in them, a doctor’s visit should be scheduled.
By the year mark your child should be able to engage in gestures with you, recognize and respond to being spoken to particularly when you call them by name, should make frequent eye contact and utilize some of their motor skills to do things like clap, point and reach for things that interest them. Infants who are not engaging in these activities by this age should be tested for autism.
The time period between 12 and 24 months will have definitive markers and milestones and this may be about the time you begin to really worry about your child’s development and health. Within this time frame your child should be crawling or scooting, have the ability to say singular words and repeat them back to you, be able to mimic facial expressions and their personalities should begin to shine. Laughter, lots of movement and a genuine interest in everything around them (the curiosity factor) should be apparent and they should want to be involved in such activities.
This is also the time when children or babies really respond to being touched and cuddled with, can show some signs of empathy and will have a keen interest in playing with others. Any absence of these characteristics and traits should be troublesome to parents and they should schedule an appointment with a physician if it hasn’t been made already.