Spotting the Signs: 3 Early Indicators of Autism in Toddlers

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Autism affects many people in the US alone. It is a spectrum disorder, which means that there are varying levels of severity. Your child’s symptoms might be more or less severe than that of another child.

Autism can affect your child as young as 1 year of age. That’s why it’s important to know the early signs of autism in a toddler to catch it sooner than later.

So, are you concerned that your little one might have autistic traits? Read more to find out if your child has been hit with this affliction.

Let’s get into it!

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1. A Lack of Eye Contact

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder often notice specific behaviors that appear in their toddlers. One of these signs is a lack of eye contact. Toddlers with autism may seem to look out of it and often have trouble making eye contact.

They may appear as though they are looking through their parents and caregivers instead of directly at them. Also, a toddler’s gaze may remain fixed and appear to gloss over when people are trying to communicate with them.

So if your child is showing this sign, it may be a cause for concern and a good reason to talk to a doctor.

2. Having Difficulty Communicating

Symptoms of autism can manifest in multiple ways, including difficulty communicating. This can range from not responding when called or carrying on a conversation. For example, a toddler may struggle to:

  • Follow simple instructions
  • Find it hard to answer questions
  • May not understand non-verbal cues

Additionally, they may also struggle to initiate conversations. They just imitate words instead of using words to talk. These signs may be extremely subtle, so it is important to be aware of them and to reach out for further support if there is a concern.

3. Engaging in Repetitive Actions

Another early sign of autism in toddlers can present itself in the form of engaging in repetitive actions. These behaviors can demonstrate in the form of:

  • Hand clapping
  • Lining up toys
  • Engaging in spinning behavior
  • Fixating on certain objects
  • Head banging
  • Rocking
  • Spinning

Additionally, these actions can be a way of self-soothing and relieving stress or anxiety that the toddler may be feeling. However, these behaviors are not typically seen in any other type of neurotypical development.

So, if you believe your child may be displaying these indicators, it would be best to seek out autism therapy services as soon as possible.

Effects of Ignoring Autism Spectrum Disorder 

The early signs of autism in toddlers may be difficult to spot. Ignoring these signs can have serious effects on the child in later life.

It is important to be vigilant and discuss any concerns with a doctor or therapist, as early interventions can make a world of difference to the child’s progress. Although this cannot be cured, proper prevention can ensure the best outcome.

Top Early Signs of Autism in a Toddler

As a parent, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs of autism in a toddler. If your child displays any of these, it is best to reach out for professional help right away to ensure they get the support needed for their development.

Don’t delay! Take the first step in getting your child on the right path, and schedule a visit with your pediatrician today!