A neurological disorder that results in developmental disorders, autism is actually not a single disorder but is in reality a spectrum of disorders also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The signs of autism can be detected in infants as young as six months of age. Toddlers with autism have developmental difficulties such as trouble interacting, playing and talking.
The severity of the symptoms may vary with some children showing mild impairment symptoms while others have more problems and obstacles to overcome.
However some of the basic signs of autism in toddlers include a delay in communication. Autistic toddlers appear withdrawn and solitary, preferring to keep away from people. They do not make noises to get attention and do not reach out to be picked up.
They may not like loud noises or enjoy too much attention. Instead they may be obsessed with certain things like a piece of paper which can keep them engaged for hours. Preoccupation with certain activity like walking around in circles or clapping hands for hours can be a red alert for parents.
Children with autism may also have difficulty communicating and often seek assistance from others to convey their needs. The delayed speech and small inventory of sounds results in restricted communication with others. Moreover they may have trouble making eye contact or imitating facial gestures.
They may be unaware or just disinterested in people around them. Some of them may have violent outbursts or throw temper tantrums.
The lack of response of toddlers is one of the most common symptoms of autism in toddlers. If your child does not respond to his or her name or does not smile back or respond to hugs and cuddles then you might have a reason to be concerned.
If by six months to nine months you do not observe big smiles or a happy expression along with a lack of response to name and no babbling by twelve months then you might want to consult your pediatrician.
Your pediatrician may in turn recommend screening and formal evaluation of autism so that effective treatment may be provided.