Symptoms of autism in toddlers

Autism also referred as infantile autism or autistic disorder, is a lifelong disorder that causes abnormal neurological development. Autism may result in impaired social interaction, communication difficulties, and restricted or repetitive activities and interests. People with autism often exhibit abnormal responses to sensory stimulation (e.g., touch, sound, light), usually have moderate mental retardation, and have a higher risk for developing epilepsy. Some autistic patients may show aggression and self-injurious behavior (e.g., head banging, biting themselves).
Symptoms in toddlers
Autistic children do not exhibit interest in other people and often prefer to be alone. They may resist changes in their routine, repeat actions (e.g., turn in circles, flap their arms) over and over, and engage in self-injurious behavior (e.g., bite or scratch themselves, bang their head). The symptoms in toddlers may include:
Resists cuddling or touching
Often behavioral outbursts, tantrums
Inappropriate attachments to things
Maintains little or no eye contact
Over- or undersensitivity to ache, no fear of danger
Sustained abnormal play
Uneven motor skills
Symptoms of autism may increase in sternness when the child enters adolescence and often decrease in severity during adulthood. Besides these abnormal behavioral patterns, autistic children usually have an impaired language growth. They face problems while expressing themselves and generally cry, laugh or show distress when not able to express themselves. Their speech patterns are improper and lack intonation and involve repetition and expression. The mental process of the child becomes slow and faces difficulty in learning and understanding things.
The symptoms may become severer as the child enters adolescence and may go out of control if not checked on time. But there are also chances that the severity of the disease reduces as the autistic person enters adulthood.

Infants and toddlers who exhibit the hallmark features of this disorder should be referred to a multi-disciplinary team that specializes in the assessment of children with autism. With increased knowledge of this disorder and greater vigilance in the infant and toddler population, more preschool children with autism will receive appropriate evaluation, diagnosis and treatment at an earlier age

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