In the diagnostics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), no biological marker is yet available on basis of which would be possible to confirm or exclude the presence of ASD.

An important factor is the early detection of the first manifestations of autism, ideally by the second year of life.

A group of symptoms called warning signs of ASD exists, which need special attention when observing the child. These include:

Parents’ concerns:

  • a different development of the child, compared to peers,
  • social skills deficits,
  • speech or behavioral disorders,
  • intolerance of change in the child.

Objective symptoms:

  • delayed development of speech and social and communication skills,
  • avoidance of eye contact or preference to be alone,
  • absence of babble for up to 9 months,
  • not pointing the index finger or missing gestures at 12 months,
  • failure to respond by name within 12 months,
  • absence of simple words within 16 months,
  • absence of imagination or symbolism in the game up to 18 months,
  • absence of two-word meaningful speech within 24 months,
  • the absence of smiles or other happy expressions for social stimuli in 6 months,
  • no sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions at 9 months,
  • the presence of atypical and repetitive use of objects,
  • the presence of repetitive use of words and phrases – echolalia,
  • quantitatively and qualitatively different stereotypical and repetitive movements, bodies such as waving hands, walking on tiptoes,
  • loss of speech or other social skills at any age,
  • atypical developmental trajectory.

See the article for more information:

Hnilicová, S., Ostatníková, D., Autism spectrum disorders – early diagnosis and screening 2018,19 (2), Pediatrics for practice