The importance of early diagnosis in autism management cannot be overstated. The less time a child spends engaging in learned behavior, the easier it is to treat autism. Keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of autism in toddlers listed below.
Autism symptoms may appear when your child is 6 to 12 months old, but many parents are unaware of the developmental delays until much later. “The first year to 18 months are critical for diagnosing autism,” says the Child Mind Institute’s Senior Director of the Autism Center. “In general, parents become concerned if their child does not speak by the age of 18 months or two years.”
Signs of Autism in Toddlers
Lack of crying, lack of movement, and lack of interest in surroundings – the baby often appears to be content, showing no signs of distress, hunger, or other problems. During the first few months of my life, I slept all night.
2. Refusal to Eat/Feed
A high percentage of autistic children have eating difficulties at various levels, including refusal to breastfeed, refusal to transition to bottle feeding, or refusal to transition from liquid to solid foods. In many cases, these difficulties can be seen as early as the first months of life.
3. Inability To Make Direct Eye Contact With Others
A baby with an attachment and communication developmental disorder has no trouble watching an object but has difficulty making direct eye contact with people. However, some babies require a more extended period of time to maturation their visual channels (at the age of 4-5 months).
4. Ignorance of a Parent’s Voice or Presence
There is no turning of the head, no response to their name, no smile or babbling. A distinction should be made between a lack of reaction to a voice and a lack of response to the presence of a parent: even if a baby cannot hear, they will react to the presence of a parent. In any case, before concluding, a hearing test should be performed.
5. Withdrawal From Parental Touch (or Touch of any Other Person)
Some babies have sensory overload, so that any physical contact may irritate them. This causes the parents to have complicated feelings. Still, it is critical to explain that the baby is not rejecting them but has real difficulties with his tactile sense and regulation.
6. Postponed Motor Development
Babies with attachment and communication development disorders have rapid motor development, but most babies have hypotonia (low muscle tension), and their motor development is delayed. This symptom does not rule out autism.
7. Increased Circumference Of The Head With Its Starting Point
In some cases, children with autism were born with small head circumferences, but within two years, the circumference grew rapidly, reaching larger dimensions than typical child development. This symptom does not rule out autism.
It is important to note that each of these symptoms could result from a disorder unrelated to autism! It is therefore critical to conduct medical examinations first and foremost to rule out these possibilities. If two of the above-mentioned symptoms persist over time, the case of a developmental disorder αssociated with autism should be investigated.