Early Signs of Autism Video Tutorial | Kennedy Krieger Institute

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I'm Rebecca Landa director of the Center

for autism and related disorders at

Kennedy Krieger Institute you are about

to watch a brief tutorial illustrating

the early signs of autism spectrum

disorders or ASD you will see three

pairs of videos of one-year-olds within

each pair you will first see a child

with neurotypical development followed

by a child who shows early signs of ASD

the developmental features indicative of

ASD shown within these videos fall into

three main categories these include

effective communication and sharing

enjoyment making social connections and

the one with which we will begin seeing

social opportunity through Play

this 19 month old child does not show

signs of ASD

he has chosen to play with the balls he

quickly integrates the lady into his

play he pretends that the balls are food

and offers a bite to the lady

he always she okay yummy food he

understands that food spoons plates and

eating go together as he creates a

pretend play activity

he remains aware of the people nearby he

enjoys incorporating social interaction

into his play and offers the lady a bite

he is able to pay attention to the lady

the doll and to pretend food all at once

he shares his excitement about the toys

with the lady looking at her and smiling

after the lady comments that the food is

hot he links his play and language to

her idea here he imitates the lady's

action with the pretend lipstick this

helps him to learn new play skills and

at the same time synchronize his actions

with the actions of others

this 19 month old child shows signs of


he has an intense interest in the toy

phone he does not share his enjoyment of

the phone with others he does not look

toward others and smile although he puts

the phone to his ear he does not show

creative play with the phone when his

name is called he does not respond

Elliott Elliott he does not offer the

phone to others so that they can have a

turn his mother tries to distract his

attention away from the phone tickle him

although he seems to enjoy the tickling

he does not look at his mother or make a

social connection with her he does not

try to communicate with his mom to keep

the social game going

this 14 month old child has a mild motor

delay but does not show signs of ASD

as it explores the new toy

he remains aware of the people nearby he

checks in with his mother behind him to

ensure that she also sees the toy next

he shows that he understands the social

communicative meaning of the woman's

pointing gesture by immediately looking

at the sticker then he looks over at

another sticker she had pointed out

before he continues the woman's topic of

communication as he points to the Tigger

sticker he shows the motivation to

maintain social engagement with others

and the ability to communicate using

coordinated gaze vocalization and

gesture this 14 month old shows signs of


first he flops his hands while enjoying

the bubbles he does not share his

enjoyment by looking at the man he does

not respond to his name although he

looks at the man's pointed finger he

does not follow the direction of the

man's gesture to locate the object of

the man's attention

this 14 month old is not

signs of ASD

while she enjoys looking at and

exploring the toy she stays engaged with

the people nearby she tries to share her

enjoyment with her mother as she turns

to show the toy to her then she shares

her enjoyment with the lady across from

her by directing her gaze and smile

toward the lady although she recognizes

that the lady is a source of help her

request for help is clear and effective

coordinating eye contact gesture and

vocalization for purposeful

communication is a sign of healthy

social and communication development

this 14 month old child shows signs of


notice how his attention is so focused

on the toy that he does not interact

with the people nearby he does not share

his attention with others his

exploration of the toy is also unusual

he drops the toy onto the table and

watches it move when the toy stops

moving he does not use eye contact

vocalization or gesture to ask for help

he also tenses his body and mouth in an

unusual way even though the lady is

talking to him he shows no interest in

her he does not seem to understand that

her gesture is an offer to help him he

does not check in with the lady or his

mother to see whether they are paying

attention to the toy that he is enjoying

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder

affecting multiple aspects of

development especially social and

communication skills children with ASD

often show unusually intense interest in

certain objects or sensory experiences

they may repeat certain behaviors over

and over again the signs of ASD are not

transient but rather persist over time

the earliest signs of ASD are often

subtle and become clearer in the 2nd and

3rd year of life a diagnosis of ASD

should be made by one or more experts

who gather a thorough developmental

history directly assess the child's

developmental abilities and conduct a

medical exam for more information about

ASD early detection and intervention or

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