I'm concerned about my child,

what should I do?

If you haven't seen your doctor, that's the first step. 

You can ask for a referral to a psychologist or developmental pediatrician who is qualified to administer testing and provide a diagnosis of autism if warranted.

Connect with local autism groups for support and information.

In the Ottawa-Carleton region, there are resources available for families, connect with these organizations for help.  See the resource page for links.

Provincially funded intervention is available, but has a very long wait time.  Some families choose to invest in privately paid intervention.

Connecting Early can provide you with early intervention services for your child and family at this critical time.

Red Flags for Autism

Parents who have concerns about their child's development should speak with their health care professional as soon as possible.

Not all children diagnosed with autism will have all of these symptoms, and some children may display a few of these symptoms without being diagnosed with autism. 

Only a medical doctor or psychologist can diagnose autism.


  • No babbling by 11 months old
  • No simple gestures by 12 months old
  • No single words by 16 months old
  • No 2-word phrases by 24 months old
  • Very limited or no response when name called


  • Rarely makes eye contact with others
  • Doesn't play peek-a-boo
  • Doesn't point to show interest in objects
  • Appears more interested in objects or toys than people
  • Rarely attempts to gain parents attention
  • Rarely response to parent's attempts to interact in play


  • May have odd or repetitive way of moving hands or fingers
  • May be over-sensitive or under-sensitive to certain textures, sounds, or light
  • Lack of interest in toys, or plays with toys in an unusual manner
  • Rigid in routines and becomes extremely upset when interrupted
  • Appears to be preoccupied with unusual interests
  • May have unusual fears

What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.