ASDetect contains a comprehensive list of questions based on the ‘red flags’ for early signs of autism. These are accompanied by video footage of children both with and without autism, who have visited OTARC’s Early Assessment Clinic.
Does your child make regular and consistent eye contact with you and other family members across different settings (e.g. to share his/her attention with you, to ask for things, and to ‘check in’)?
Does your child copy your actions, such as banging blocks together or combing his/her hair after you do it?
If you’re not sure, try this activity. Use a brush/comb on your hair. Give it to your child and say ‘your turn’.
Does your child imitate you?
Does your child use gestures such as waving bye-bye or nodding and shaking his/her head?
If you’re not sure, try this activity: Leave the room and wave bye-bye to your child. Does your child wave back?
Does your child look at you and smile, WITHOUT being touched or tickled first? If you’re not sure, try this activity: Get your child’s attention and smile at your child. Does he or she smile back? (Do not use physical contact to try and get a smile.)
Does your child engage in pretend play, such as feeding a teddy with a spoon or giving it a drink? If you’re not sure, try this activity: Give the child a toy cup, pot, spoon, and teddy. Say “Can you pour a drink and drink it?” Does your child pretend to pour a drink and drink it? Or does your child pretend to feed the teddy or give it a drink?
Does your child point to show you something that is out of reach AND turn to look at you? (e.g., bubbles, a toy, or a plane). If you’re not sure, try this activity: Get a teddy bear, show it to the child and say. “This is teddy”. Then put the bear across the room (out of reach, where the child can see it) and say, “Where’s teddy?” Does your child point to the bear and look at your face?