The first year of any child’s life can bring various signs of autism. These include little or no smiling, eye contact, or gestures. Some of the core early signs of autism in your child can occur in the first two years.
While some children may have several early signs, others can have quite a few. Remember that these signs of autism in toddlers can change over time or even become conspicuous as your child gets older. This post discusses some of the important signs of autism in toddlers.
What You Understand About Early Signs Of Autism
Children can develop at different rates. Therefore, health professionals like doctors and child and family health experts need to check your child’s development. This is done to determine if your little one is achieving some of the key milestones. These include checking emotional, physical, linguistic, social, and behavioral milestones.
Social communication development is quite crucial for your child in the early years to check for early signs of autism. Some of these signs can be noticed in the first two years of your child’s life.
While some children can have several of these early warning signs, others may have just a few. Also, some of the behavioral signs can change over the years, or even become clearer than before as they get older. Any loss of language or social skills during this time is another cause for concern.
The number of these autism signs can also change depending on age and the severity of your child’s autism condition. If you see any of the below signs in your child, you must talk to your doctor or any other health professional for a proper development assessment. You can only get the correct services and support if you get a proper diagnosis. You can understand the early signs of autism in toddlers here.
If your child has autism, they may have challenges with social interactions. They may not hold up items to show other people things, show what they want, or share their experiences. For example, they may not point to a cat and look at you to ensure that you’ve seen it too. In other cases, when they give you a toy, they simply walk away rather than hold it up and look at you.
Some signs of autism in your child is when they don’t respond to their names consistently. They also sometimes don’t sound like they are trying to talk to you when they babble. They might even copy what they hear from TV or others, such as when you ask them if they want more food, they may respond, “more food”.
Children with autism may also not use nonverbal communication. This means they don’t use gestures like they may not wave bye-bye if you don’t tell them to do so, or they may do it if they don’t copy another person who is waving. Such children also don’t use eye contact to get your attention, such as they may not take a look at you and then at a toy to show they want it.
If your little one has autism, they may not show interest in a relationship or play with other children. This means they can’t start games or do pretend play, such as pretending to drive a car.
One of the signs for children with autism is restricted interest. It means your child may have a lot of interest in specific objects and get stuck on a particular item. For example, they can have an interest in toy cars and they will keep on flicking the light switch on and off continuously, or they can only play with toy cars.
A child with autism may also play with toys and items in only one way instead of broadly. In other words, your child may have an interest in turning just the wheel of their toy car instead of pretending to drive the toy car on the floor.
Some of the children with autism can also have an intense interest in unusual activities or objects, such as metal objects, drains, or particular ads on TV.
If your child has autism, they can easily get upset by any changes and the need to follow some routines. For instance, your child can find it hard to leave the home in the same way or the need to sleep.
However, children with autism usually tend to have repetitive movements. They may repeat their body movements or even have some unusual body movements, such as arm-stiffening, hand-flapping, walking on their toes, and back-arching.
If your toddler has autism, they can be very sensitive to some sensory experiences like they may get easily upset by specific sounds. They may also eat only foods with specific textures.
It’s also quite common to find children with autism to look for sensationalism. It means they can rub certain objects on their faces, or mouths. In other cases, they may look for items such as washing machines, or put their little fingers to the sides of their eyes so that they can watch the light flicker.
What To Expect With An Autism Diagnosis
While there is no single test to determine if your child has autism or not, there are various things your doctor can do. They may watch how your little one plays and interacts with other people. They may also interview you and review the developmental history of your child.
Diagnosis can involve several specialists testing and assessing your child, which is known as multidisciplinary assessment. This usually has many specialists working with your child so that they can get an accurate diagnosis.
Even better, this can help health professionals come up with the right plans to support your child. In short, a multidisciplinary assessment can involve a psychiatrist, pediatrician, speech pathologist, psychiatrist, and many other professionals, such as an occupational therapist.
These experts may be required to see you and your baby multiple times to check how your child interacts, play, and behave. You may see all these professionals in a single day and the same place or you might see them one at a time.