Learn the Signs

Regular screening for developmental milestones is advised during well visits. Below are “red flags” that may suggest a child is at risk for autism. For a more detailed checklist of developmental milestones by age, please visit the CDC’s “Act Early” page.

If you believe your child is exhibiting signs of autism, further evaluation is needed to determine if a diagnosis is warranted. Talk to your child’s primary care physician or click on the button below to connect to your nearest TAP service provider.


Possible signs of autism in babies and toddlers:

By 6 months

  • No social smiles or other warm, joyful expressions directed at people
  • Limited or no eye contact

By 9 months

  • No sharing of vocal sounds, smiles or other nonverbal communication

By 12 months

  • No babbling
  • No use of gestures to communicate (e.g. pointing, reaching, waving, etc.)
  • No response to name when called

By 16 months

  • No words

By 24 months

  • No meaningful, two-word phrases
  • Any loss of any previously acquired speech, babbling or social skill

Possible signs of autism at any age:

  • Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone
  • Struggles with understanding other people’s feelings
  • Remains nonverbal or has delayed language development
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Has highly restricted interests
  • Performs repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking or spinning
  • Has unusual and often intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors

About us

The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) Service Network is a collaboration of 5 universities and 10 organizations that together operate 20 centers across the state. As a network, TAP is able to offer services that respond to the unique needs of different communities across Illinois.


The Autism Program of Illinois

Hope Pavilion
5220 S. 6th Street,
Suite 2300B

Springfield IL 62703