Ethan never pointed at anything and at the time I never knew this was a red flag for autism. When autism hit it was the marker that stuck in my mind the most. I found myself watching my friends babies and being so relieved when I saw them point.
As you can imagine with Little E we are on autism watch alert. As much as we didn’t want to be you can’t help it. She is high risk and I would rather be on the ball and get her referred as soon as possible if we spot any signs.
So pointing has been what I have been watching and waiting for. I had already decided that if Little E hadn’t hit this milestone by Christmas I would be making an appointment with our GP.
Last Monday Little E discovered her index finger and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
She is now pointing to things in books, pointing to her daddy and also points at my breakfast when she wants some. Every time she points, we clap. She thinks we are mad but we don’t care.
Why is pointing so important?
Pointing is initiating joint attention. Something that a child with autism possibly wouldn’t do. Pointing automatically makes us look at and label what a child is pointing at. It starts conversation with your child. Pointing is a very good sign.
Clapping and waving are also signs of joint attention and all positive signs of development.
The guidelines for when a child should be pointing is between the ages of 9 and 18 months. If you are worried that your child is not pointing by this age the best thing to do is contact your heath professional.
Of course we still have to go past the common age of regression with Little E but whilst we wait we will enjoy all the joint attention that pointing brings.