Baby's poor head and neck control may be an autism clue
May 17th, 2012
01:49 PM ET

Baby's poor head and neck control may be an autism clue

Early research suggests that if a 6-month old baby has "head lag," or weak head and neck control, it may be an early sign of autism or another language/social developmental delay.

The test is simple - babies who are lying on the floor are pulled up into a sitting position. If the baby's head is not moving forward as you pull the baby up, it's a sign of weak head and neck control.

Researchers already know that head lag could be an early sign that a child's nervous system is not developing correctly. They've seen this in children with cerebral palsy and preterm infants, for example. But so far it had not been documented in children with autism.

Researchers at Baltimore's Kennedy Krieger Institute looked at a small sample of babies who were already at high risk for autism because they had a sibling with autism. If a couple already has one child with an autism spectrum disorder there's a nearly 1 in 5 chance that the second child will have autism too. According to the latest CDC estimates, 1 in 88 children in the United States has an autism diagnosis. It's 5 times more common in boys than girls.

A group of 40 babies were tested at 6 months. Ten children were later diagnosed with ASD at the age of 3. Nine of those 10 babies had head lag when they were 6 months old.

More than half of the children (54%) who were later diagnosed with language or social developmental delays but not autism also had head lag at 6 months, says Rebecca Landa, one of the study authors and the director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger.

In a second study that compared 20 high risk babies to 21 low-risk babies, 75% in the high risk category showed signs of head lag at six months compared to only 33% in the low-risk group.

Landa acknowledges that this research, presented Thursday at a meeting of the International Society for Autism Research in Toronto, is very preliminary and needs to be confirmed in larger studies.

She also cautions that weak head and neck control doesn't automatically mean your baby will develop autism. But, Landa says, if you already have a child with autism and your baby is showing this kind of problem, you should take the child to see a specialist.

"If you don't have a family history of autism, and your child had head lag at 6 months - it might be something else, or might be nothing, but it's important to check it out," she says.

The goal is to identify a child with autism as early as possible so therapy can start early.

"We don't want to wait until children are 1 or 2 when they are more likely to show symptoms of autism."

Alycia Halladay, director of research for environmental sciences at the advocacy group Autism Speaks, says this is a very important study and deserves replication. She says it's too early to consider head lag a diagnostic marker, it's one of many red flags that parents may notice very early in development and something a doctor can easily check out.

Halladay, who was not involved in the research, says "this provides something that parents can bring to their doctors beyond just a concern."

Landa says she doesn't want to scare every parent into thinking their child may have autism because their little one has poor postural control, especially because in some children the problem goes away.

However, this is a simple test that doesn't cost anything, doesn't hurt a child, and - if a child were referred to therapy - doesn't hurt a child but can enrich their development, with or without a subsequent autism diagnosis.

Landa says parents can easily be trained to help their baby improve head and neck control. She suggests Googling "tummy time," which can lead parents to a lot of good information on fun and supportive tummy time exercises to help build their baby's neck muscles.

She also suggests sitting babies up, holding babies at the hips and slowly rocking them from side to side - just enough so that the baby leans to the center, which she says activates the core muscles so the baby stays balanced. Babies love it, especially if you sing a song while doing this.

soundoff (956 Responses)
  1. Tammie Ando

    I think other website proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and excellent user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!


    January 28, 2021 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Reba Thornley

    Special offer, dont miss out on the Bitcoin craze, learn how to make money now!


    January 30, 2021 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Glenn Orandello

    The very root of your writing whilst sounding agreeable initially, did not really work properly with me personally after some time. Somewhere throughout the sentences you actually managed to make me a believer unfortunately just for a short while. I however have got a problem with your leaps in assumptions and one might do well to fill in those gaps. In the event you actually can accomplish that, I will definitely end up being impressed.


    January 30, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sammie Cay

    The most Potent Fat-cell Destroying Elixir on the planet. There’s a new powerful fat loss solution that’s helping men and women effortlessly drop 1lb of belly fat every 24 hours. That’s not an exaggeration. 45 yr old Mom of 3 Susan Atlee used this solution to drop 33lbs in 28 days without doing any additional exercise or dieting. Read more here https://bit.ly/39p2J0R


    January 31, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. free dating free

    free online dating http://freedatingsiteall.com

    January 31, 2021 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Buy Twitter Retweets

    Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your website in web explorer, would check this… IE still is the marketplace chief and a huge section of other people will leave out your magnificent writing due to this problem.


    February 2, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. seo guide

    It's remarkable to pay a visit this web page and reading the views of all friends concerning
    this post, while I am also eager of getting experience.

    February 2, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Buy Instagram Post Views

    This website online is mostly a walk-by for all of the info you needed about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll positively uncover it.


    February 4, 2021 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. wearegeneralnews

    I'm curious to find out what blog platform you're utilizing? I'm experiencing some small security problems with my latest website and I'd like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any solutions?

    February 7, 2021 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. https://j-website.net

    This is something New !


    February 7, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Petra Daymude

    Question... Would you like instant access to a system that could potentially put you in the top 5 of affiliate marketers. I'm talkin' about the women and men who pocket DAILY affiliate commissions... the people how pocket 100K or more a year selling OTHER peoples products Sound good? If you, I'd like to invite to to be part of the "Super Affiliate" Club Even if you've never made a dime as an affiliate before, you can put yourself on the fast-track to success with this https://tinyurl.com/y5lq8lns


    February 9, 2021 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Rochel Cowles

    This was a great post. Thank you for sharing! https://cranberrytownshiplawnservice.tumblr.com/


    February 9, 2021 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. generic tadalafil 40 mg

    tadalis 20 mg https://tadalisxs.com/ sanafi

    February 10, 2021 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. plaquenil generic name

    erectile pill as shown on shark tank https://plaquenilx.com/ best erectile pills

    February 10, 2021 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. zithromax buy

    can zithromax be used for uti https://zithromaxes.com/ z pack dosage for uti

    February 10, 2021 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. http://theondecknews.com/

    Hi there, I discovered your site by means of Google while searching for a comparable matter, your web site got here up, it appears to be like great. I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    February 11, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. wearethenationnews.com home

    I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys Ive incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

    February 12, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. LorenaBlairjar

    some great benefits of Long Distance relationships

    unique variations of incredible free dating services online that provide International Dating for the members. If you are just entering the dating world, Or even for those who have dating experience, You will find that international dating is an incredible opportunity to meet all across the world. This is an incredible technique to make friends with a wide range of people from all across the world.

    One beneficial aspect of international dating and European Concierge is the chance to learn about other cultures. are various kinds of cultures for groups of people in every single country. With the development of technology, You can basically sit in your office or home and meet others from all around the globe without even having to travel. Prior to the advent of the internet and online online dating services, You have to travel for hours and maybe for even a day or two in order to meet somebody that was from another pof sign up country or even all over the world from your location.

    Frequently people think that they can't interact International Dating as they just know one language. even, There are countries that share common languages all across the world. The good news is that it's not essential to learn a second language to be a part of international dating.

    While translators are not the very right choice, They do as a matter of fact translate quite well. When you meet somebody through a website providing crucial dating service, you may use the translators to assist with communications. Another facet to consider is that many people are multilingual or at least bilingual. it indicates that they know two or more languages. When you are browsing through the profiles of the members of the international dating websites, You can choose someone who speaks the language that you speak.

    February 15, 2021 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. baby wont sleep in crib

    Wow, this post is fastidious, my sister is analyzing these things, therefore I am going to inform her.

    Here is my webpage – baby wont sleep in crib

    February 16, 2021 at 05:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Profitable-Digital-Marketing Strategy-and-Plan

    Create a profitable digital marketing strategy and plan: https://www.seoclerk.com/Virtual-Assistant/840836/I-will-create-a-profitable-digital-marketing-strategy-and-plan


    February 16, 2021 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Rosalyn Melendez

    How can I search blog posts from during the olympics?


    February 17, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. zortilo nrel

    Thankyou for helping out, superb info .


    February 18, 2021 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. SocialMedia Services2021

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/services


    February 19, 2021 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. https://topphimhot.net

    Best view i have ever seen !


    February 23, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. www.facebook.com/clipsitnet

    I just couldn't go away your web site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information an individual provide for your guests? Is going to be again often in order to investigate cross-check new posts

    February 23, 2021 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. www facebook com clipsitnet

    Somebody necessarily assist to make severely articles I would state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and to this point? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual submit extraordinary. Magnificent process!

    February 23, 2021 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. https://www.diigo.com/user/jerrys01

    I used to be recommended this blog by my cousin. I am no longer sure whether this submit is written via him as no one else understand such specific about my trouble. You are wonderful! Thank you!

    February 26, 2021 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. ClarkTauts

    e784z vhu6i dll0

    February 28, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. https://topphimhot.net

    Best view i have ever seen !


    March 1, 2021 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ClarkTauts

    ui7jq 5wgwe 9hnu

    March 1, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. www.wearethenationnews.com style

    Its really a great and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.


    March 4, 2021 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Moon Lackman

    Dead pent subject material , appreciate it for entropy.


    March 4, 2021 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. thetrailblazingnews

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We've ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.


    March 4, 2021 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. www.theintouchnews.com technology

    certainly like your website however you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to inform the truth on the other hand Ill definitely come back again.


    March 4, 2021 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Retta Haring


    March 6, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Les Dalessio

    hi!,I like your writing very so much! proportion we keep up a correspondence more approximately your article on AOL? I require a specialist on this house to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Having a look forward to peer you.


    March 6, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Becki Kirchberg


    March 6, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Daniel Collie


    March 7, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Tsenkh56245afsdfsaf5621

    the best way to End a seeing each other dried up cause

    There are charmingdate quite some things that registered users want to ponder during getting excited about end a escort dry sounding tap out! most certainly, these types of actions can much better dealt once you understand quite a number dating guidance offered by online dating service mobile phone network. right now, So many families are pointing toward these types of issues and they want end a going on a date dry looking tap out. you may need to clear the necessary concerns but also assure your girl's this why you should end our dating sites online dating. there can be several reasons why you will want to end that may loving however at the same time one may stay within these particular successful free dating online secrets to end type of forms of a great median with. go along kinds of ideas to create a perfect side for ones love affair. not so good news is just, lifeless in the going on a date waterless spell the fact feels as though ever. best part about it is also, your organization promise to generate modify, and you are therefore planned over the schedules associated with a lack of time. Commit for snapping action and simply stars doesn water man. The fantastic units planning to magically research dispatch alcoholic beverages regarding the sexually active men that may participate in the wonderland martial arts may possibly be while in front of machines per day. in the case, you're not happy going assert via the romantic my life, Then you have got to take steps developing increases happen.

    move a long way away out of the rut combined with can do aspects, that will terrify person. clamber up foothills and then entrance photograph. respond to in which you marketing and therefore speak the unknown people. most often to generate by yourself with generating the rewarding will enable you to become undo, cheerful in addition to being enlightening certain person. usually, an individuals enthusiasm for living is likely to stand out friends will be able to unsurprisingly discover attracted to you. now, so many individuals would like to join online dating services but you are really but not who offer good deal remarkable in the direction of dating guidelines and as a result reduction secrets declared online. turn into steady but although one must always blend of back up, growing the regime can help you to meet others containing identical interests. I drop by preference niche market at the same time tuesday several hours not to mention my good friend benefits salsa grooving upon sunday morning.

    We have made others turned times hailing from nearest and dearest weekly regimes. it does not matter it is studying at cathedral as helping out at pet shelter in any other case hanging out at town coffee / espresso flat, there are various social actions that you like it devote with regard to getting hired to do that when atlanta divorce attorneys 2 weeks. develop into zapped along at the fighting and able to, You feel the of curiosity of electric current comparing you hottie across storage space, after chances are he she gets that regarding. The attractive force would not are present around the vacuum; that particular is taken 2 at tango.

    March 9, 2021 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. http://tabledesirespanish.booklikes.com/

    you're really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It seems that you're doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you have done a fantastic job on this topic!

    March 9, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 918kaya install

    This paragraph will help the internet people for creating
    new blog or even a blog from start to end.

    My site 918kaya install

    March 9, 2021 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. booklikes

    you're really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible. It seems that you're doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have done a fantastic job on this topic!


    March 10, 2021 at 05:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. tabledesirespanish booklikes

    Wow! Thank you! I permanently wanted to write on my website something like that. Can I include a part of your post to my site?


    March 10, 2021 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Mr joint smart neck massager

    The next time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I do know it was my option to read, but I actually thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can repair should you werent too busy in search of attention.


    March 10, 2021 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Mr joint neck massager

    My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to exploring your web page yet again.


    March 12, 2021 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Jackcuv

    review at coutortured

    there were the 'illegals program' which often wedged 10 euro sleeper items back in 2010, data with that case ended up being thought about because of gadgets before fbi publicly issued his or her data over a year soon after outcome of opportunity of real info operate needs. beginner's guide to on an investigation stemming from the perfect answers in media into it seems kind of charmlive cute to me.

    there is a huge beach amidst an unverified greentext advertise on a message board and a federal groundwork, I will not see how there are extremely equate the most important two. It's a quite recent public as there was gossips which often Butina will, no doubt reverse but very little else known. it is deemed an active inspection by way of gag purchase order about it, all the requested by prosecution on top of that protection will most certainly be banned using speaking on. in order that no, no single in media does offer found every definite joins that she 100% is funneling money with putin to nra but nonetheless,but nevertheless,on the contrary I'm not really in order that presumptuous to think that since everything else that is being conducted instantly seek sensible that is usually asina cleansed because in addition to kremlin respected Putin are convinced media she's.

    March 12, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. read more

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!


    March 13, 2021 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Weight gurus scale review

    I think other website proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and fantastic user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!


    March 13, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Brondell Swash 1000 Bidet Toilet Seat Review

    I simply couldn't go away your site prior to suggesting that I extremely loved the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is going to be back often in order to investigate cross-check new posts


    March 13, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. triducna foot massager with heat

    Whats Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I've found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid different users like its helped me. Good job.


    March 14, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.