Autism In Toddlers And Babies – Early Signs

Autism in toddlers and babies, if recognized early enough, can b treated.  Autism is difficult to diagnose before 24 months, but signs can surface as early as 12 months.  If Autism signs are noticed as early as 18 months of age, intensive treatment can help reprogramme the brain and reverse symptoms.

Some Autism in toddlers signs are:

  • No eye contact while being fed
  • No smiling back when smiled at
  • Follow objects visually and follow your gesture when you point at something
  • No notable empathy when you are hurt or experience discomfort
  • No gestures such as waving goodbye or pointing
  • Toddler won’t imitate movement or facial expressions
  • Toddler won’t play with others or share the fun
  • Toddler won’t initiate or ask for cuddles

The red flags become more evident as children get older. The signs and symptoms are vast but are mostly around impaired social skills, speech and language skills and non-verbal communication difficulties.

  • No interest and unaware of others and what is happening around them
  • Cannot connect with others, make friends and play
  • Not into cuddles, being held or touched
  • Doesn’t play imagination games, group games or imitate others
  • Doesn’t understand feelings or talk about them
  • Doesn’t hear when others talk to him or her
  • Doesn’t show interest or achievements to others (drawings or toys)

Speech and language difficulties include:

  • Speaks in an unusual tone of voice, with different pitch and rhythm – ending every sentence like a question
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over, without communicative intent
  • Responds to questions by repeating it instead of answering it
  • Uses language inappropriately or refers to himself as the third person
  • Struggles to communicate desires and needs
  • doesn’t understand simple statements, questions or directions
  • Takes what is said seriously and misses humor, sarcasm, and irony

Inflexibility Signs

  • Prefers strict routine
  • Struggles with a change in environment such as routine changes or new people in the home
  • Unusual attachments to things and putting them in a specific order
  • Interested in narrow topic of interest – numbers, and symbols
  • Focused attention on moving objects for a long period of time – car wheels turning or ceiling fan
  • repetitive actions – rocking, flapping hands, grinding teeth aka as “Stimming”