5 early signs of autism in toddlers

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Autism spectrum disorder can be a tricky condition to diagnose in toddlers as many of its early signs would be hard to spot.

While we all live in a positive world and like to believe that nothing can happen to our precious little kids, a wise man once said that it's better to be prepared than to be sorry.

Autism spectrum disorder can be a tricky condition to diagnose in toddlers as many of its early signs can be hard to spot. Let us first understand what autism is. Autism is a neurological condition that typically shows its early signs in the first three years of a child’s life. A child with autism shows delay in development in three main areas, which are known as the triad of impairments [1,2]. They can be classified as

  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Social interactions
  • Imagination

While every baby is special and achieves milestones at his or her own pace, a baby that does not turn by six months or one that does not walk by the age of two should be closely monitored for autism or other such medical conditions. Similarly some might have a problem with strangers touching them or in tolerating every day sounds.

We know it can be tough to handle, but early intervention and care can go a long way in getting the right treatment for your child and might even help him live a normal life.

Here we talk about five early signs of autism in toddlers [1,2].

#1 Delayed milestones
Perhaps the earliest indicator of autism in a child is the delay in milestones. Infants as old as six months are able to smile, grasp a finger and even respond to voice. Children with autism, on the other hand, find it difficult to respond, babble and smile back to their mother and strangers.

#2 Not recognising his name
A child with autism would not be able to respond to his name and would not look back when you call him out. Normally infants are able to respond to their names and might even start imitating their parents when they talk to them.

#3 Not making eye contact
Another early sign in a baby with autism is a lack of eye contact, which indicates delay in communication and comprehension.

#4 Delay in babbling & cooing
Babies with autism also fail to make baby talk and would be silent most of the times and would not make simple sounds such as babbling and cooing that infants start making after three to four months of age.

#5 Love for patterns/routine
Children with autism have a tendency to follow a routine and they get really upset if the pattern is broken. For example, they would like to sleep, eat and take a bath at the same time every day and would be really upset if that is discontinued.

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References:
1. www.autism-india.org/about-autism.php
2. www.autismspeaks.org/