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Essential Guide: How to Detect Autism in Newborns?

How do you effectively observe and interpret your newborn’s behavior for potential signs of autism?

In the wide world of nurturing a newborn, parents experience excitement and joy. With this come a lot of questions as well. With tiny fingers and sleepless nights, have you ever found yourself wondering, about some unusual signs? These early signs should not be ignored.  

Autism is one of the signs that warrants careful consideration.

As a parent, understanding the signs of autism in your newborn is a pivotal moment. If you observe behaviors such as limited eye contact, delayed speech, or repetitive actions, the next step is crucial. Promptly seeking guidance from a healthcare professional can lead to early intervention and support, positively impacting your child’s developmental journey. 

And here’s what you need to know – while a formal diagnosis typically occurs around the age of three, subtle hints of developmental variations can start emerging as early as six months.

In this blog, we aim to take you on a journey and help you understand the details of detecting autism in newborns. 

Let’s explore the signs, the early indicators, and most importantly how you as a parent, can find solutions by understanding the signs with confidence.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of autistic children generally observe certain signs during the first year. With 80-90% noting developmental differences by the time their child reaches 2 years old.

What is autism?  

What is Autism?

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience different ways of growing up and learning. These variations affect their behavior, communication, and social interactions. 

The CDC reports adds approximately 1 in every 54 children is affected by ASD. While the prevalence is higher in boys than girls. 

Visit to learn more about autism.

What are the signs of Autism in infants?

What are the signs of Autism in infants?

Identifying autism can be quite difficult. A possible reason is the condition appears in various ways for people of all age groups.

Children may achieve developmental milestones at various ages, even without any health issues. Nevertheless, certain developmental variations suggest that a baby might have autism. 

Here are some of the common instances such as: 

Missing mutual attention and eye contact:

They may not consistently use eye contact as a means to attract someone’s attention. For instance, they might not always direct their gaze from you to express their desire for it. 

Additionally, they may not turn their eyes back towards you when encountering something exciting.

As per a 2016 research, a baby around 9 months old should maintain regular eye contact and start sharing focus with their parents or guardians.

It can be challenging for babies with autism to comprehend and respond to social cues. This leads them to overlook objects or the person being pointed out to them.

Restricted range of facial expressions:

A 4-month-old baby starts imitating facial expressions like smiling. By the age of 6 months, a baby needs to be able to smile naturally and communicate their emotions. 

On the other side, a baby with autism may not react to a smile or other facial expressions. They might also react to specific expressions that are not proper.

No response to their name:

Infants naturally begin responding to their names around 6 months of age. Not reacting to one’s name is signifying of a delay in development.

A 2017 study shows babies who develop autism typically do not react to their names by the time they are 9 months old. 

Communication development :

An infant by the age of one year mostly says one to three words and tries to mimic what other people say. 

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, it states children with autism may face challenges in developing language skills and comprehending others’ speech. 

Struggling with nonverbal communication: 

Around 9 months a child must be capable of imitating the movements and sounds of others. 

In a study performed in 2019 by the National Library of Medicine, it was found that at 18 months of age, a child with autism displays fewer gesturing behaviors compared to non-autistic children. When nonverbal communication is lacking, it may suggest delays in language development.


Regression occurs when a child starts to lose skills once they have developed. This could be like social behaviors or verbal communication. 

A 2015 study shows nearly one-third of children with autism experience a loss of skills around preschool age.

What are the early signs of autism that parents should not ignore? 

What are the early signs of Autism that parents should not ignore?

Let us discuss the early signs of autism in infants aged 2 months to 18 months in more detail: 

Two Months Baby Signs

If a 2-month-old baby isn’t accomplishing any of the below signs, a parent should immediately talk to a doctor.

If your baby is not:

  • Reacting to loud noises
  • Observing moving things 
  • Smiling at other people
  • Putting their hands to their mouths
  • Lying on their stomach and holding their head up

Four Months Baby Signs 

A 4-month-old baby must visit a doctor if they do not act on any of the following.

If your baby is not:

  • Being able to keep their head still, 
  • Make noise,
  • Bring things to their mouth, 
  • Push down with their legs when a parent or caretaker puts their feet on hard surfaces, and 
  • Looking all the way around.

Six Months Baby Signs 

A 6-month-old baby should see a doctor if they look especially floppy or stiff.

Additionally, if your baby is not:

  • Grabbing things 
  • Showing love for their parents or guardians 
  • Reacting to sounds around them 
  • Making vowel sounds 
  • Laughing

Nine Months Baby Signs 

People can expect a healthy 9-month-old child to be active. But there is a matter of concern if she/he is not doing one or more activities as mentioned below.  

If your baby is not:

  • Pointing at someone, 
  • Replying to their name, 
  • Talking, 
  • Recognizing people, 
  • Sitting down without help, 
  • Playing back-and-forth games, 
  • Putting weight on their legs with help, and 
  • Moving toys from one hand to the other.

After A Year Baby Signs 

Talk to a doctor if you see signs of regression in a 12-month-old baby.

If your baby is not:

  • Making hand gestures, like waving or moving their head
  • Saying single words, like up, hi, or bye.
  • Crawling 
  • Standing with help

18 Months Baby Signs 

A kid 18 months or younger may have autism if they are losing skills they used to have.

If your baby is not:

• Pointing to show others things 

• Naming everyday things like spoons and cups 

• Copying what others do 

• Use at least six words

• Let a parent or caretaker know when they leave or return home

Parents who fear their baby might have autism should talk to a doctor. The doctor will start by looking at the baby’s behavior to figure out what’s wrong and may suggest more tests. 

What is the Early Intervention for a Baby with Autism? 

What is the early intervention for a baby with Autism?

A doctor watches the baby during developmental tests. The parent or caretaker will be asked about the baby’s actions by the doctor. 

Babies should have a regular development review at every visit and screenings for developmental delays at 9, 18, 24, or 30 months old. 

Babies grow and develop at their own pace, even though some gaps in growth can be scary. 

Extensive research spanning decades indicates that early intervention plays a pivotal role in influencing the health outcomes of autistic children.

Commencing therapies in early childhood capitalizes on the remarkable adaptability of their developing brain and nervous system, showcasing the potential for positive impacts on their complete health. 


How to detect Autism in Newborn

Autism is a developmental condition that manifests in babies. It is typically diagnosed in children under the age of 2, but signs can potentially emerge at any age. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) underscores the importance of regular screening for babies and other developmental conditions. If there are concerns or signs observed, it is advised to engage in a conversation with a healthcare professional promptly. 

Early detection and intervention pave the way for necessary support, emphasizing the significance of vigilance and proactive communication with medical professionals.

How can the MedicoExperts team support families dealing with autism?

How can the MedicoExperts team support families dealing with Autism?

The MedicoExperts team aids families deal with the problems that come with autism in many ways. Our broad strategy includes the following: 

The team includes experienced therapists who focus on interventions. Intervention plans are made specifically for each child with autism based on their unique traits and needs, ensuring that they receive the best care and support possible. 

We know how important families are and we give counseling advice to help families understand and deal with the effects of autism.

The team offers educational materials and information about autism to make smart decisions and be involved in their care. We make sure our patients have ongoing support by setting up regular follow-ups and making changes to treatment plans as needed. Contact us now to take your first comprehensive step.

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