Though it is believed that detecting autism in toddlers is slightly challenging, there are certain signs that can be spotted at the onset, which may help recognize the presence of this condition. The following article provides information about the various symptoms signs of autism in toddlers.
Autism is a neurological disorder marked by delayed mental and physical development. It is not a singular disorder, but a spectrum of disorders, and is also commonly known as the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism is often diagnosed in later stages, when a child fails to perform activities that kids his age are supposed to do. While some kids might just have delayed development, there are others who may have been affected by autism. The causes of autism are varied and may range from environment to genetics. Apart from this the diagnosis of this condition is difficult, as parents tend to ignore the symptoms. However, research suggests that there are certain symptoms by which this condition may be recognized and diagnosed.
The different levels of autism toddlers may be affected by, and its associated symptoms may be largely different in different kids. For instance, a toddler affected by mild autism will display different symptoms from one who has a more severe case. However, there are some basic symptoms that help identify this condition in toddlers.
- Delayed development of speech abilities is one of the first signs of autism in toddlers. In such cases, they are unable to speak clearly, babble, or make the cooing noises that babies and toddlers usually make. The lack of babbling or other noises made by a 1 year old is a cause for concern, and may be symbolic of the presence of autism in toddlers.
- One of the biggest signs of autism in toddlers is their lack of reaction. They will not respond to their name, and sometimes, even to pain. They don’t smile back when smiled at, neither do they reciprocate any sort of emotional gestures such as a hug.
- Lack of eye contact is another sign of autism in infants and toddlers. However, it is likely that they stare at a particular object without blinking or a break.
- Toddlers affected by autism are preoccupied with just one activity, and are known to perform various kinds of repetitive behavior. For instance, they may constantly rotate the wheel of a toy for hours together, without shifting attention.
- Communication levels are surprisingly poor, and children with autism fail to initiate or carry out communication with others. They are usually socially withdrawn, and prefer to keep away from physical activities. Such kids may also be deeply affected by loud noises or too much attention from numerous people. This may lead them to react violently.
- Another common symptom is the varied nature of sensitivity they experience. As aforementioned, sometimes they may not experience pain even from objects or events that cause pain, and at other times, their sensitivity is heightened due to loud noises and clatter.
- The motor skills are also affected, as they fail to wave, point, or perform any such gestures. On the other hand, since they are prone to being preoccupied with just one activity, they are likely to keep clapping their hands, engaging in a rocking motion, or spinning in circles.
You should know that the sooner these signs are noticed, the easier it is to diagnose and to an extent treat the condition. Autism treatments can be administered only when you communicate with your doctor, and keep a watch out for all those developmental milestones your toddler should be crossing (which can be explained by your pediatrician). Treatment will include various types of therapies such as speech therapy, introduction of certain toys to help them, and other such methods. On your part, you can be of help by being understanding and supportive.
Also, ensure that you pay utmost attention and care to your toddler, and follow the doctors instruction. Remember, autism is a condition that may affect your toddler for life if the right diagnosis and treatment is not implemented. The sooner you detect autism, the easier it will be to eliminate these symptoms, and help your child become independent.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.