Some ways to identify signs of autism in toddlers are by observing their eating habits, their methods of play and interaction with other children, and their depth of communication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overall level of developmental growth can gauge the presence of autism.
Toddlers with autism may not follow their parents' gaze or pointing to an object, notes the CDC. Other communication concerns include the lack of any language development. Autistic toddlers may exhibit unusual reactions to the taste and smell of foods, often only eating a select few items or consuming nonfood items as well. The lack of social skills include wanting to play alone and showing no desire to participate in pretend play activities.