Autism Red Flags

The following red flags may indicate a child is at risk for atypical development, and is in need of an immediate screening. If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an immediate screening:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age


Red Flags are reprinted with permission from First Signs, Inc. For more information, please go to or to the newly released book, Could It Be Autism? A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps (Broadway Books), by First Signs founder and president, Nancy D. Wiseman. First Signs is dedicated to the early identification and intervention of children with developmental delays and disorders.