Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism in Toddlers

February 2, 2014 | Autism Definition & Teaching

Autism spectrum disorder can show signs and symptoms as early as the first few months of a child’s life to the third’s birthday. It is marked by delayed mental and sometimes, physical development. When a child fails to do what the other children at the same age usually do, a lot of times, it’s the very early sign of autism. Thus, parents should be aware of the symptoms of autism in toddlers as they can be spotted at the onset. The earlier autism is diagnosed, the more likely the course of treatment plan can be a success.

Autistic Symptoms In Toddlers

Autism in Toddlers

Although delayed development is not that uncommon and a lot of times can be harmless, in some cases it may be a sign of autism. The cause of autism is still a subject of debate among researchers and experts, but it is believed to be environmental or genetic. Unlike diagnosing adults or bigger children who can express what’s on their mind, figuring out whether a toddler is affected by autism may be difficult. However, there are some symptoms of autism in toddlers to help recognize and diagnose the condition, so that prevention can be done to keep it from worsening.

Autism Level in Toddlers

Signs to Look Out For

As autism consists of different levels, the associated signs and symptoms from one toddler to another may be largely different. Obviously, a toddler affected by severe autism may show different symptoms from one with a milder case. But despite that, there are some basic symptoms of autism in toddlers that can help identify whether the condition affected a toddler.

  • One of the first signs of autism in toddlers is delayed development of speech abilities. While other toddlers are able to babble or make cooing noises, toddlers with autism fail to do that. The lack of babbling or other noises in 1 year old baby should raise a red flag as it may be a sign of the presence of autism later in life.
  • Lack of reaction is one of the most obvious signs of autism in toddlers. Observable behaviors such as failing to respond when their name is being called, and sometimes, pain doesn’t even trigger any reaction. Not smiling back when smiled at is an example of failure to reciprocate any sort of emotional gestures.
  • Another one of early symptoms of autism in toddlers is the lack of eye contact. And when they often have a fixed stare at a particular object without a break or even blinking, parents should be concern.
  • While kids especially toddlers usually like to do various activities and easily shift attention from one object to another, the ones with autism can be preoccupied with only one activity and often do repetitive behavior. For instance, they may rotate the wheel of a toy car for hours without breaking focus.
  • Communication skills in toddlers and children with autism are very noticeable. They fail to initiate or even carry out communication with others, which makes them tend to avoid any kind of social activities. Attention from numerous people can make them agitate, uneasy, or even throw a tantrum.

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