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From Early Signs To Treatment: What Every Parent Needs To Know About Autism

Dr. Lisa Nalven of The Valley Hospital.
Dr. Lisa Nalven of The Valley Hospital. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- As autism spectrum disorders are being diagnosed in ever increasing numbers, it's crucial for parents to recognize the warning signs of autism. Thanks to the doctors and staff at The Valley Hospital's Kireker Center, parents are able to seek help and understand the intervention options available if they notice delayed development in their child.

According to Dr. Lisa Nalven, director of developmental pediatrics at the Kireker Center, warning signs of an autism spectrum disorder include:

  • no big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months of age 
  • no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
  • no babbling by 12 months
  • no back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
  • no words by 16 months
  • no two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age

"Your child’s pediatrician will screen for autism at regularly scheduled visits," said Nalven. "However, if you have any concerns about signs of autism or any aspect of your child’s development, you should speak with your pediatrician and arrange for additional evaluations."

For more information on early developmental milestones, click here. For more information on autism diagnosis, interventions and resources in New Jersey, click here.

For more information on the Autism Services available at the Kireker Center for Child Development, please call 201-447-8151 or click here.