Is your toddler extremely uncomfortable in social gatherings? Have you tried to help your toddler mix with other children his age but to no avail? Do you feel your toddler finds it difficult to participate in group conversations or team events?
If you have been noticing a difficult social behavior in your toddler, maybe it is time to know more about Asperger’s syndrome. In this article, we help you to understand what are signs of aspergers in toddlers and learn how to help your toddler if he has Asperger’s syndrome.
What Is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome is one of the many conditions that come under the ‘Autistic spectrum’ (1). It is a type of neurobiological disorder (2). It causes difficulties in social interaction, communication, imagination and development of cognitive skills. In most cases, doctors can diagnose the Asperger’s syndrome only when the child is between the ages of five and nine years (3).
[ Read: How To Help A Toddler With Autism ]
What Are The Symptoms Of Asperger Syndrome In Toddlers?
A toddler may not show the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome as it is conspicuous only later. To try and spot it earlier, you can keep an eye out for a few aspergers symptoms in toddlers.
1. Difficulty In Communicating:
A toddler with Asperger’s syndrome may not have a problem with speaking, language or vocabulary. The problem may arise when the toddler tries to communicate and express himself. The toddler may continue speaking without acknowledging the listener.
2. Difficulty In Concentrating In Group Activities:
A toddler with Asperger’s syndrome may have a hard time doing something that requires group attention. It could be a simple case of the toddler and parent sitting down to read a book together. While the parent may try to read along with the toddler, the toddler may find it very difficult to look at the pictures together.
[ Read: Behavioural Problems In Toddlers ]
3. Difficulty In Pointing:
By the first year, most babies can point at things and indicate what they want. A toddler with Asperger’s syndrome may not be able to point at all, or may be able to do so much later.
4. Difficulty In Using Gestures:
A toddler, who has Asperger’s syndrome, may find it very difficult to perform simple gestures like waving. The toddler may be able to reach these milestones at a delayed pace. Most of these gestures involve the toddler in a social interaction with another person. Toddlers with Asperger’s syndrome do not like interaction, and this can explain the delay.
5. Lack Of Non-Verbal Communication:
Most toddlers with Asperger’s syndrome may find it difficult to maintain eye contact. They may even find it difficult to express themselves through any facial expression. In some cases, the toddler may have some very unusual body movements or gestures.
[ Read: Parenting Tips For Toddlers ]
6. Delayed Motor Skills:
Toddlers with Asperger’s syndrome will have difficulty in developing their motor skills. The development may be delayed, or not happen at all. You can spot the delay in motor skill development in your toddler if he is walking on tiptoes, or having difficulty in potty training, playing with a ball, etc. In most cases, toddlers with this condition may seem clumsy or unable to concentrate on what they are doing.
7. Excessive Sensitivity:
Toddlers with this syndrome often feel too sensitive to light and sounds. They may also be especially sensitive to touch, even to the touch of various fabrics.
[ Read: Language Development In Toddler ]
8. Difficulty In Social Situations:
Toddlers with this syndrome may have difficulty in interacting with others. They can find playing with other kids or be around other kids, challenging.
Keep in mind that some toddlers may simply be showing these symptoms as a regular way of growing up, and may not indicate any medical condition. Do keep an eye out for your toddler’s behavior pattern. Try and encourage him to be around children of his age. Engage him in activities that will help with milestone developments.
In case you feel something is amiss or that your toddler displays the above symptoms in an alarming manner, do consult your doctor.
If you have a toddler who is suffering from this disorder, please share your experience and advice with us.
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