Bringing the early signs of ASD to life: the video has been developed to help both parents and health professionals.

Bringing the early signs of ASD to life: the video has been developed to help both parents and health professionals.

As awareness of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) grows, parents are becoming increasingly vigilant of the signs of the neurodevelopment condition. However, the younger the child, the more subtle the behaviours can be.

The average age of ASD diagnosis is 4 years of age, despite the fact that about half of children with this disorder may be detected by age 14 months. Detecting the signs of ASD as soon as possible is important to start the process of diagnosis and early intervention. 

Traditionally, parents use checklists like this to monitor their child's development. However, a visual demonstration can be so much more powerful. To improve recognition of the early signs of ASD among doctors, parents, and early intervention providers, autism researcher Dr. Rebecca Landa of the US Kennedy Krieger Institute has developed this 9-minute video tutorial on ASD behavioral signs in one-year-olds.

The video consists of six video clips comparing toddlers who show no signs of ASD to toddlers who show early signs of ASD. For example, there are differences in the ways children with signs of ASD play with toys and respond to adults around them.

Each video is presented with voice-over explaining how the specific behaviors exhibited by the child, as they occur on screen, are either indicative of ASD or typical child development.

Dr. Rebecca Landa is the director of the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders. The videos and information presented within this tutorial were obtained through her research, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

If are concerned about your child's development, make an appointment with your child's GP and request a referral to a developmental paeditrician, who can undertake a full screening. More information about seeking an ASD diagnosis is available in our forums.