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Many who interact with an infant or toddler don’t always notice the warning signs that a child needs early intervention services. The earlier the intervention, the greater the long-term effect on the child. Here are some “red flags” for:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Communication Delays
  • Feeding Delays or Limitations
  • Motor Delays (Physical Therapy)
  • Motor Delays (Occupational Therapy)
  • Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)


Red Flags for Communication Delays

  • Lack of communicative gestures by 18 months
  • Limited comprehension and/or production vocabulary
  • Lack of growth in production vocabulary over 6 month
    period from 12-18 months


Red Flags for Feeding Delays/Limitations

  • Difficulty (or lack of) swallowing and chewing various textures
  • Gagging and vomiting during meals
  • Aversion to solid foods (child only eats pureed food)


Red Flags for Growth Motor Delays — PT

  • Low/Rigid muscle tone from birth.
  • Not lifting head by 4 months
  • Not sitting by 8 months
  • Not pulling to stand by 12 months
  • Not walking by 14 months


Red Flags for Fine Motor Delays — OT

  • Not reaching for toys by 4 months
  • Not picking up small objects by 8 months
  • Not using both hands in midline by 18 months
  • Not helping with dressing/undressing by
    14 months
  • Not holding crayon with thumb and fingers,
    snipping with scissors, imitating circular scribble
    by 25 months


Red Flags for SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder)

  • Child has short attention span, can’t focus
  • Gets motion sickness in cars or carnival rides
  • Demonstrates clumsiness in motor skills
  • Avoids messy or gooey substances
  • Doesn’t like to be touched
  • Has difficulty acting on information received
    through the senses