Be aware. Be very aware. You are your child's best advocate.It's been over 6 years since I felt in my bones that something was off about our beautiful boy. At 18 months, he didn't exhibit the same burst of development that his sister did.
He was happy and smiled, but did not "talk much." He rolled over a bit late; tried standing much later than his sister's 11 months. Once he started standing, the speech babble went away. His communication resembled a parrot's squawking.
His pediatrician told me I was being a worry mom; that I should not compare him to his precocious, older sibling. Boys can often develop a little late, especially if they have a talkative big sister, he explained. Besides, he assured me, "he can't be autistic, because he looks you in the eye."
Do not be afraid to insist on assessments. Don't let fear of a diagnosis or well-meaning reassurances of family and friends put you off getting your child assessed.By age 2 James started to scream and bite with frustration. He started zoning out on us, looking dreamily off into the distance and not responding to his name or attention-getting noises right next to him (yet he could hear a pencil drop on the other side of the house).
I came back to that pediatrician, who wanted to "give him 6 more months," and told him that what I needed was for him to call in a referral to have my son assessed for autism/developmental issues. I needed to know, I said -- if only if to be told to stop worrying. I needed that call NOW. He did call, but afterward was never comfortable in discussing my son's developmental issues.