Learn about your child's development
A child's growth is not just physical; the milestones that mark a child's development also include social, cognitive, language, and motor skills. CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." campaign shows the familiar milestones of physical growth, such as height and first tooth, and explains that there are other important signs to watch for, like using pronouns and engaging in pretend play.
Every parent needs to know the developmental milestones – not just because something might be wrong with a child, but because knowing how a child learns, speaks, acts, and plays is simply a basic aspect of knowing a child's developmental health.
Child health care providers need to be proactive in conducting developmental screenings and referring children with potential delays for more tests or treatment. A "wait-and-see" approach to diagnosing developmental delays can lead to missed opportunities for providing needed care.
If parents have concerns about their child's development, they should consult their child's doctor. If the doctor recommends a "wait-and-see" approach and parents are still concerned, they should seek a second opinion from a developmental pediatrician or other qualified professional, and they can contact their local early intervention agency or public school.
Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye bye" are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (crawling, walking, etc.). Download the CDC "Milestone Tracker" app to track a child's development in a fun and easy way.
Developmental and Behavioral Screening Tools: (Birth to 36 Months) and Autism Screening Tools: (Birth to 36 Months).
Early Identification of ASD Module created by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Summation of current best practices regarding early identification.
A resource developed by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.
The Autism Internet Modules were developed with one aim in mind: to make comprehensive, up-to-date, and usable information on autism accessible and applicable to educators, other professionals, and families who support individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Autism Speaks has published a 100 Day Kit that contains information and advice for families to use during the first 100 days following the diagnosis of autism. It contains a week by week plan, as well suggestions and forms that families can use as they begin to find services for their child.
Webinars offer timely information from experts and have the flexibility of being viewed at your convenience without the expense of travel.
The Kennedy Krieger Institute and Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have published a free online video to improve the recognition of the early signs of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) among pediatricians, parents and early intervention providers. Bringing the Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders Into Focus (2013, runtime 9:03 minutes) consists of six video clips that compare toddlers with no signs of ASD to toddlers with early signs of ASD and includes an explanation of how the specific behaviors exhibited by each child are either suggestive of ASD or typical child development.