All toddlers bring a mix of joy, picture-worthy milestones, sprinkled with a few challenges. While children naturally develop at their own pace, some parents and guardians might occasionally observe subtle variations in their child’s behaviour.
At first glance, these distinctions might not make parents think about the possibility of a mental health condition. Nonetheless, subtle cues, such as avoiding eye contact or frequently failing to respond to their name, could be early signs that a toddler might be showing signs of autism.
Therefore, experts advise parents and caregivers not to ignore any observations of behaviour that seem inappropriate for the child’s age. Instead, they should focus on recognising signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and exploring the most appropriate course of action.
Autism or ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects individuals in various ways. However, its earliest signs often begin to surface during the toddler years, typically between the ages of 1 and 3. Identifying these signs early can lead to early intervention and support, which are instrumental in improving outcomes.
Akansha Kothari, a counsellor and child psychologist in Bengaluru says that it is important to note that every child is unique, and the signs of autism in toddlers can manifest differently for each. Yet, understanding these early signs can empower parents, caregivers, and educators to provide the necessary support and guidance to ensure that every child reaches his or her fullest potential. “Explore, innovate and think out of the box while dealing with neurodivergent children,” she says.
Here is an infographic on the early signs of autism in toddlers, providing parents and other caregivers with insights into the common indicators to watch for.
Recognising signs of ASD is important to provide timely support and intervention to children who may need it. While these signs offer valuable insights, it is essential to always seek a formal diagnosis from a qualified expert.
This infographic has been reviewed by Akansha Kothari, a counsellor and child psychologist in Bengaluru.
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