“My 2.5 year old son is not able to follow directions and doesn’t seem to really look at us when we talk. He has a few words but says the same things over and over again. Are these signs of autism and if so, what should I do?”

Children are who suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) demonstrate many of the following characteristics.  If your child is demonstrating any of these behaviors, you should consult with your pediatrician and schedule a full speech and language evaluation with a certified speech-language pathologist as soon as possible.  Early intervention is crucial for children on the autism spectrum.  

  • Has difficulty following one and two step directions
  • Does not respond to his/her name when called
  • Excessive interest in particular toys (or parts of toys), letters and/or numbers
  • Does not point to body parts, objects or pictures in books
  • Repetitive movements (turning lights on and off, continually opening and closing doors)
  • Does not share or show (pointing to a dog on the street for you to see/bringing you a toy)
  • Lack of eye contact with peers or adults or appears disengaged in books/activities/games
  • Delayed expressive language skills.  A child who is 2.5 years of age should be using 50-100 words, responding to greetings and farewells, using 2-3 word phrases frequently, using actions words and telling you about past experiences (e.g., Telling Dad when he comes home from work, “I go park”).
  • Does not engage in pretend play (e.g., pretending to clean up, talk on the phone)