What Are Commons Signs of Autism in Toddlers?

What Are Commons Signs of Autism in Toddlers?

Autism is often found in toddlers from the age range of 12 to 24 months. This is the age group, when it is usually the signs and autism develops. However, the caretakers say that a few subtle signs can be identified even in the stage of infancy. A few of the signs found in autism children are

  • Delay in communication
  • Delay in social skills
  • Behavior issues
  • Sensory issues

These are the few things that throw a light that the child may develop autism and the degree of these symptoms may be mild to severe even in the same age group of children. An example is that the toddlers stop talking to others suddenly from 12 to 24 months. A few others signs that should ring an alarm are:

  • Self-stimulatory behavior
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Playing skills are not improving or delayed playing skills
  • Hyper sensitivity to sensory input
  • Hypo sensitivity sensory input

Red Flags to be noted:

In the age group of 12 to 24 months, many other red flags can be noticed, and here are a few that should be identified to detect autism in early stage:

  • Regression to communication skills: many toddlers stop communicating. The kids who had enjoyed social games like peek a boo, would stop enjoying these games anymore. The kids also stop using words like mommy, bye bye and other words they had been using
  • Loss of verbal expression: the toddlers stop using verbal expression to denote what they want. All the words learnt are replaced with babbles or as they are often called as, echolalia. This means they merely imitate the word, while they do not understand the meanings or associate it with them
  • Decreased contact: Eye contact decreases, also other activities like waving, pointing and other gestures also disappear. Facial expression too get limited

Lack of social communication:

A definite sign of autism is that lack of interest in social interactions.

  • The autism affected toddlers do not show interest in other kids and the outer world
  • Toddler in autism stays alone or prefers to stay alone
  • They treat everyone as an object. For instance, the other children are treated as chairs and tables by toddler in autism
  • Emotional connection is nil, or if available very much limited
  • Toddlers with autism do not like being held or cuddled
  • They become over excited when someone tickles them

Behavioral Signs:

A few behavioral signs found in toddlers with autism are:

  • Flapping the hands
  • Banging the head
  • Picking the skin
  • Biting
  • Self injury activities
  • Over sensitivity to sound
  • Lack of sensitivity to cold and pain

Toddlers with autism also have other odd behaviors. For instance, they can spin around and around for a longer time, or they are engrossed in things like mobiles, dust floating in air, and other minor to major things for a longer time without getting distracted.

  • They love to organize things in a certain pattern
  • They are too upset when this order is disturbed

Other signs:

  • Toddlers with autism usually have a disturbed sleep
  • They sleep only for 3 to 4 hours at a time
  • They need more administration even in simpler tasks like wearing the socks

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad