Home » Autism Explained – What is Autism? » Signs of Autism in Children – Autism Explained » Communication Delay – Signs of Autism in Children

Communication Delay in Children with Autism

While communication or speech delay is common in children with autism, it is also common in children with other developmental conditions as well as neurotypical children—that is, children who do not have autism or related conditions. Speech delay related to autism, however, has distinct features which distinguish it from other types of speech or communication delays.

Long before a neurotypical infant learns to speak, they begin finding ways to communicate. Even babies with speech delays who are not on the autism spectrum will babble, gesture, make eye contact, and attempts to mimic and interact with others. Neurotypical children are highly socially motivated, and naturally responsive to social cues, even at an early age.

Infants and young children with autism, however, are unlikely to be motivated by social responses, and may be delayed in nonverbal communication as well as verbal communication. Common signs of autism related to communication delay include:

  • Not responding to their name being called
  • Delays in, absence of, or inability to understand nonverbal gestures like pointing, smiling or pulling
  • Delayed speech or absence of speech
  • Repetition of single words or phrases without intent to communicate
  • Inability to maintain focus on parents or caregivers for more than a few seconds

Hearing loss, apraxia of speech, challenges related to motor skills or cognition, and other conditions can account for some of these delays individually, but if a child demonstrates several of them, evaluation for autism spectrum disorder is advised.

We Change Lives Every Day

Interested in our services and inquiring about placement for your child?
We are now enrolling ages 2-6. Reach out today!

Get Started

Since you selected Medicaid as the type of insurance you'll be using, please let us know if any of the special circumstances below apply to you. This allows our grants department and outreach department to better assist in determining if we can help with services.

A member of our outreach department will be in touch either way!

Have you recently lost private insurance through your job or for any reason (e.g., covid, laid off, etc)?
Have you recently moved to Illinois within 60-days?
Have you recently had a baby or got married within 60-days?