Since the turn of the century, cases of childhood autism have been constantly increasing, but it still seems that most parents are oblivious to the signs of it in their child’s early years.
As with any health condition, it’s better to diagnose it as early as possible.
According to the CDC, 1 in 68 children born in the USA have an Autism Spectrum Disorder with it being 4.5 times more common among boys than girls.
Determining if a child has an autism spectrum disorder is not as simple as performing a single test, but there are a range of behaviors and developmental delays which can be indicators that your child has autism.
If you suspect your child is affected then it is best to get a proper diagnosis from a medical specialist as early as possible, so it’s best to be aware of the signs to be on the lookout for.
Here are 7 indicators of autism in babies and toddlers that you should look out for.
1. They Tend Not To Make Eye Contact
Lack of eye contact with a caregiver is one of the earliest signs of autism. They might never make eye contact with anyone in the room. This is a common sign of autism; however, it is not seen in all children who are diagnosed.
2. They Fail To Respond To Attempts At Interaction
By the age of 1 they should enjoy a game of peek-a-boo with mom or caregiver, and by the age of 2 they should show in interest in other kids and want to play with them. If your child prefers to be alone constantly this may be a sign of autism.
3. They Don’t Babble Til Later
Kids should start to make vowel-like sounds and other noises at around the age of 6 months before they learn to speak properly. Babies with autism tend not to start babbling until the 9 month marker.
4. They Have Difficulty Socializing
One of the most common traits of autism is difficulty socializing. They may not feel drawn to participate with other children and would rather solve problems by themselves rather than via teamwork with other children.
If your child consistently shows no interest in interacting with other children, you may wish to consult with your doctor.
5. They Struggle To Communicate
Autistic children tend to communicate with a smaller range of sounds, words and gestures. They might be less inclined to call out for assistance.
6. They Don’t Point Or Gesture
Most young children will point or use other gestures to show interest in things around them, whereas children with autism don’t pay won’t look at things they notice and also won’t show interest in things that are pointed out to them.
The earlier autism is identified the better, as younger brains are more easily adapted and therapy early on can make a significant impact on progress.
These signs are just some pointers to look out for and not every child has the same symptoms, so if in doubt, get in touch with a professional.