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By age 24 months, children should be able to say a few words on their own. They should also show interest in playing "pretend" and show signs of imagination. They should make eye contact and show a variety of expressions. Signs of Autism in a child at this age include a fixation on certain objects (ex. spinning wheels), showing no interest in peers, and trouble with change in routine.
If you feel that something is wrong, even if you are not sure what it is, it does no harm to take your child for an evaluation. One of the first steps in testing for Autism is to be sure your child does not have a hearing problem. Once that is ruled out, then you can take your child to a child psychologist for a full evaluation. They can then refer you to the resources you need. Resources include wraparound services (in home therapy), speech therapy, group therapy (to encourage social skills) and occupational therapy. The GF/CF (Gluten Free Casin Free) diet is also helpful in many cases.
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