Signs of Autism in Toddlers

Nothing evokes fear in a parent like thinking their baby may have autism.

Many people assume, incorrectly of course, that because a child isn’t talking by age 2 or 3, he or she must be autistic.

Let me reassure you, there are many reasons for late talking or speech-language delays in toddlers, and autism is just one of them.

Late talking, when there’s no other delay, usually does not mean autism.

However, it is important that children learn to communicate their wants and needs. And, truth be told, all toddlers should be talking by age 2.

The expected norm, in fact, is that a child should say a minimum of 50 words consistently on his/her own and frequently say short phrases such as “Bye bye Mama” or “more cookies” without prompting from a parent.

If your two-year old child is not able to do this, he very likely does have an expressive language delay.

Again, expressive language delay does not always mean autism.

If your child also has difficulty understanding language, that is following your directions, she could also have a receptive language delay 

Children with receptive language delays often act as if they’re deaf, or can’t hear what you’ve told them to do. They tend to “ignore” others since words don’t mean anything to them yet. This behavior can also be confused with an autism diagnosis.

Again, a receptive language delay does not always mean autism.

However, it does mean that a child needs special help to be able to learn to comprehend language and then use words.

Understanding language and talking are critical skills for toddlers to master. Practically every single thing a young child needs to be successful once he starts school depends on understanding what others say and being able to use words to interact with others.

Most of the time, children with language delays don’t simply “grow out of it.” Early treatment for toddlers with these difficulties is essential before these symptoms become severe.

Parents play a critical role in determining the ultimate outcome for any child, but especially for those with language delays.

Success comes when parents make a huge commitment to help their child learn to understand and use words. Even when a child is already enrolled in speech therapy, preschool, or daycare, his or her parents are still the very best “teachers” a young child could ever have.

But many parents aren’t sure how to go about fulfilling this important role. Some ask me,

“How can I teach my baby to?talk when I’ve already tried everything I know?”

I’m going to show you some new things to try, but first, let me stop to reassure you, this is NOT your fault!

Most loving parents do everything they know how to help their child, especially one who’s frustrated and struggling. Every good parent knows to talk to their child, read to their child, and play with their child.

But sometimes parents don’t know how to do these things and get results. Then they end up blaming themselves for what their child can’t do.

Let me tell you this again – the problem isn’t you. And for lots of late talking children, the problem may not even be autism.

The problem simply may be that you haven’t had simple, easy to understand tools you need to help your child learn to communicate.

Many children who are late talkers, and especially toddlers who are at risk for autism, need to be taught in different ways, so that they too can begin to learn to talk and do all of the things other toddlers can do.

But even as an educated parent, you may not know how to do this.


You’ll learn how to do this in a series of 3 DVDs from called:

Teach Me To Talk

Teach Me To Listen and Obey 1

Teach Me To Listen and Obey 2

This set of DVDs was developed by pediatric speech-language pathologist Laura Mize, author of this website, and host of the popular podcast “Teach Me To Talk with Laura and Kate.”

These strategies are the same ones experts recommend to help teach parents how to work with toddlers and young preschoolers at home. Laura has taken best practices and current research and put it in “layman’s terms” so that all parents can now understand and use the same specialized techniques.

Based on praise from hundreds of parents from around the world, these strategies are proven to be simple to learn, easy to apply, and best of all successful, in helping your child begin to understand your words, and then finally, unlock that beautiful voice your child has locked away inside.

Join Laura as she uses the same down-to-earth, practical approach that she teaches parents in her practice as a pediatric speech-language pathologist, writes about on her website, and talks about during her weekly show.

In these DVDs, Laura shows you EXACTLY how to work with your toddler at home using toys you likely already have and during every day activities, like snack time. Watch as she explains and then demonstrates HOW to teach your child.

Unlike other speech therapy DVDs, this isn’t just a videotaped conference for professionals, and it’s not just a DVD for you to plop your child in front of to watch and hope for results.

In these DVDs YOU, as your child’s best teacher, learn how to help YOUR child.

You’ll watch her work with a full range of toddlers and young preschoolers or different ages and abilities. And you won’t see this demonstrated in a clinical setting or see her using techniques you’d need a PhD to understand.

You’ll see actual therapy sessions that seem more like everyday play, rather than “speech therapy.”

Best of all, she first explains exactly what to do using everyday, parent-friendly language, and then demonstrates how to do it with real children, just like yours.

You’ll be able to use these techniques with you very own child, the very first day you watch the DVD. Read one mom’s note –

Just wanted to let you know how thrilled I am with your video. I just received it five days ago and I’ve watched it every morning to gear up for working with my daughter each day and I have to tell you what a difference it has made! My daughter has been in therapy for a year and a half (she’s 31 months) and she would often run from me during our play sessions finally, after only five days, she is starting to think that her mommy is fun during playtime! Thank you for giving me a way to really connect with my daughter on a new level. This video is priceless. Helen

See a few clips for yourself –

Watch a child who’s not talking yet learn to ask for things he wants in Teach Me To Talk.


Many parents feel so worried and fruWords from another mother –

“Dear Laura,
I am so excited about your wonderful Teach Me To Talk DVD. It has brought me so much relief and help…. Thank you for your web site and all the helpful information you have been providing. Whenever I’m on the Internet researching delayed speech, your sight always calms my fear and makes me feel capable of helping my daughter.” Jennifer, Washington.

Watch how you can help a toddler learn to follow directions during play in Teach Me To Listen and Obey 1.

In Teach Me To Listen and Obey 2, Laura explains how to help a child understand more advanced words and then shows you how to use the same techniques in play.

As a parent, I want to emphasize to you, YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN TEACHING YOUR CHILD.

As a mom or dad, you know your child better than anyone else. Because of your unique connection with your own child,with the right tools, you can help him learn to interact with you, understand words, and then finally, begin to use words to talk.

Many times parents with children who have been diagnosed with autism are often at a loss with what to do next. This DVD helps parents by giving them specific strategies to use at home.

“I recently watched a DVD that has been advertised on this site called Teach Me to Talk, by Laura Mize, Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. The DVD was 90 minutes long and taught six strategies to teach your child to talk. It is aimed at toddlers who are delayed in speech…..which is how I will use it. It has tons of video of the speech therapist actually working with children! This was so informative. Laura Mize explains what she is doing while showing actual video of her working with children with delays! These are things you can incorporate in every day interaction with your child. I finished watching the video feeling like I could really teach my child to talk!

From the time I first learned Sophie had autism, I have wanted to see what a speech therapist actually did while working with a child. I desperately want to homeschool Sophie, but until now I have been in the dark about what the experts do to get children to talk. Now I have video examples to work with.

I watch this video with my 3 children in the room, and my daughter Sophie, was actually playing along with the video! I highly recommend this video for anyone who has a child with delayed speech. It is worth every penny. Sarah, mother and author of the website

Don’t let another day go by without tweaking your approach so that you learn how YOU can help YOUR own child learn to use and understand language.

Order your set today! Click this link to go to our store.


Or order directly through?PayPal at this link:

All the?DVDs can be purchased separately if you’re not sure you need all 3.

Teach Me To Talk focuses on teaching 6 simple expressive language strategies so that you can help your child begin to use words.

Teach Me To Listen and Obey 1 is for helping children understand basic words and learn to follow early commands. If your child is not interacting with you and doesn’t consistently follow directions, this DVD outlines how to cue him so that words become meaningful.

Teach Me To Listen and Obey 2 is designed to help teach children to understand more complex language. Common disciplinary challenges and how to handle those are also reviewed.

For more information about these DVDs and to read more parent and professional reviews, scroll up and click the child-drawn logos on the right column of this page.

Suspecting autism is very scary for any parent, but you don’t have to be helpless any longer in your attempts to work with your child at home.

For more information about autism, and more importantly, other useful articles to teach you how to help your child at home, be sure to check out the rest of the website now! Let me help you learn how to do this! You can do it, you really can!!


Click here to go to our store to purchase?DVDs and therapy manuals.


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Teach Me To Talk Testimonials

Happy Therapists, Teachers, Parents & Children

"Hello Miss Laura,

First, I would like to thank you for all you do for us moms who are lacking support in the autism community, and thank you for providing tons of information and resources to help our bright children. I myself benefited so much from watching your videos and reading your daily emails. I cannot stress enough how much all this information helped my toddler. Of course, getting an autism diagnosis for your child is extremely scary (she was diagnosed at 2 years old) and I was depressed and did not know what autism was, how it affected children, and how to teach children struggling with this condition. However, your videos helped me to find light in my child and now I am your biggest fan! I rewatch your videos over and over again to make sure I didn't miss anything that can help my daughter. I even purchase two books- Autism workbook and Teach me to Play. My toddler was completely non-verbal, she didn't know how to imitate, no eye contact, no pointing.. you name it she didn't have any skills and I didn't know how to teach her! And that is until I discover ed You- my toddlers (Fairy: smiling_face_with_3_hearts:)!

Now she is little sweet 2.5 years old and she says "mama" (I cried when she said that magic word), she waves bye bye or hi, she points, she gives "high 5", her joint attention is great and overall she is doing so much better! And that's all because I have been doing everything you described in your books and videos! I. My mind I always play "repetition, repetition and repetition", teaching her everything through play that she so much enjoys!!! I can write forever explaining how much I taught her through yr videos and books! And the most amazing thing is that her speech therapist is a big fan of yours as well so it worked out perfectly since we understand each other and work based on your teachings! The therapist even owns the same books I own ...I am so grateful that my toddler has such an amazing therapist; especially the one that understands autism and is ready for a real challenge! God bless you for all you do and I cannot wait for my toddler blossom.. you gave me hope and lit the light inside me. And I'm determined to work with my girl :)"

"Dear Laura Mize and Team,

Thank you so much for all your hard work and publishing books! Our 17-month-old toddler suddenly exploded into speaking and imitating everybody's gestures and sounds, just a week or two after we 'completed' all activities that are listed under 11 pre-linguistic skills! Your method really works!"

Grateful customer.

"Hi Laura!

I absolutely LOVE all of your workbooks, especially your Autism Workbook. Starting with Social Games has been a game changer for many of my littles with ASD and their families. It's been the best way for them to finally connect and sustain shared attention and engagement, leading to longer social interactions, through play!"

Jodie, Dev, Therapist

"Hi Ms. Laura,

Thank you so much for the videos you have posted on your youtube channel. They are so direct, informative, and helpful. Thank you for being a resource for me to become a better therapist."


"Hi Laura - I just wanted to say I received my copies of the Apraxia workbooks yesterday and I LOVED workbook 1 (not ready for 2). I'm on chapter 8 and going through the questions carefully so I'm prepared to help my son. I knew it was a great book when you acknowledged the fact that sometimes therapists and doctors don't bring a positive and supportive vibe when diagnosing. I remember being terrified at the mention of apraxia and ASD by both because they had these very concerned looks and made it seem like it was a death sentence. I know now (in LARGE PART, THANKS TO YOU AND YOUR VIDEOS) that it doesn't have to be!! I see a future for him now. You SINGLE-HANDEDLY, through your books and videos have empowered me to help my son after the doctors and therapists have gone home. You've given me strategies, play ideas, plans on how to keep moving forward. I don't always do things right, but I know I'm on the right track and I love that I can reference, and re-reference your books to help me keep going. As I was reading the book, I was so proud of myself because I've used strategies from your previous books and it felt good because I could check off a lot of the skills that you discuss. So, thank you for all your previous books as well!!"

"Gosh, I love all of your emails/podcast/website, just everything!! I work in early intervention as a behavior analyst and am learning so much from you!"

Thank you!




I love your work! I am a professor of early childhood special education and a speech language pathologist! I have worked to help children learn to communicate and I know how valuable the information you share is for both early interventionists and pediatric speech language pathologists!

Thank you for systematically organizing and explaining essential steps for young children to learn and develop. You are having a great impact on our profession, the ECE profession and families!"



"Thank you.

If this is Laura herself reading this email let me take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have put forth for us professionals. I own every manual (except the autism manual) and have watched every course on DVD. I have listened to countless podcasts. All of what I’ve come to be as an Early Intervention speech therapist was absolutely to your credit. With your resources at my side I have never needed to scramble for answers and strategies and above all the clear language I use when communicating with parents. My fun, animated affect and key phrases I use have been learned through watching your example. So….thank you! May you be blessed."


"I just wanted to thank you so much for your incredible help! You are so kind and lovely and every time I implement something you've taught in your manuals or videos it is always a success, I cannot thank you enough. I really appreciate how specific you are in giving us examples of wording to use and how to use a toy in therapy with your videos, it is exactly what I need to properly help my little students. I also really appreciate your list of books of list of toys. I have seen my little students make significant progress thanks to you. I'm looking forward to watching more of your videos, taking more of your CEU's, and reading more of your materials. From the bottom of my heart: thank you so much again!!"


"Dear Laura,

What an inspiration!

Thank you for helping me be a better Developmental Therapist. I often listen to your podcasts which help me help families.

Your enthusiasm, professionalism and
the sheer volume of information is so great.

You are part of my team.

I just wanted you to know I appreciate you."


"Dear Laura,

Thank you for your generosity in sharing so much knowledge in such a clear and enthusiastic way.

As a retired audiologist with a fabulous and language delayed grandson, I used your podcasts and outstanding publication, The Autism Workbook, to inspire and guide me over the past year.

It works!! He went from barely verbal, no gestures, didn't respond to his name etc etc to a verbal, social, curious, ready to imitate anything, fill in the blanks on familiar "set" speech, generate his own totally appropriate and mostly understandable sentences...not just short phrases anymore... full little paragraphs...about imaginary things, what he did during the day, what he wants. True communication!

You make a powerful difference in this world! ❤"

With gratitude,

"Laura Mize, you are a Godsend. I don’t know how one human can have so many helpful things to say in a beautifully organized way, so often. Always amazes me when another super helpful email comes from you, and for free. With free YouTube videos and cheap CEUs. THANK YOU!!!"

Sheila, Canada

"I purchased the book on autism and have watched the #400s series podcasts. Laura Mize has been more effective in teaching autistic tendencies, than many professors, shadowing professions, and the 100s of books, articles and classes or videos, or live workshop speakers, have been at teaching effective practices for a child with ASD. Some of the many lessons she has taught, which I will now use, to be a more effective Interventionist, include but are not limited to: red flags, typical behaviors, self-stimulating behaviors, not taking away toys, rather showing child to play with toy appropriately. She gives examples of child's actions, "inappropriate," explains the reason for: why the child is engaging in these behaviors and how they can be replaced with more appropriate, effective fuctional and age-appropriate skills."

"I’m sure Laura gets these messages all the time, but I thought I’d share. I stumbled across Laura‘s "Autism or Speech Delay?" YouTube video when I really needed it. This video finally listed and explained some of the red flags my son was showing for autism. I share the link anytime a parent is questioning in my FB autism group. This mother I don’t even know said Laura's video changed her life. I know exactly how she feels because It changed families too. Thank you to everyone at Teach Me To Talk."


"Good Morning Laura,
I received your book (The Autism Workbook) yesterday and it is absolutely amazing! As I evaluate young children (0-3) for developmental delays and write plans for them with their parents, there are a ton of ideas that are ready to use. Others that reinforce what I have been doing, and saying, all along. Thank you so, so much for writing this incredible book and pulling everything together in one place!"


"Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, experience, and guidance.
I’m a parent who bought the autism workbook and it’s the only clear resource I found to make a change in my son. I’m really thankful to Ms. Laura for helping out people like us all over the world."

"Laura Mize, all I have to say is that ALL YOUR STRATEGIES WORK."

ANNE, YouTube viewer

"We have 7 SLPs in our preschool (public) program for special needs children (ages 3-5) and we use your courses, books, and techniques every day! :-) We have seen our preschoolers make such great gains!"


"I just received Teach Me to Play With You, and it is ALREADY WORKING! WOW!

Girl…my son is 3 years old, and he NEVER asks for something using words. We were playing “Get Your Belly” (from Teach Me to Play WITH You), and after several times, he laughed and screamed "BEWIEEE!!!"  It was a hoot. And I can't believe he said it! I have played with him like this before, but this time I took your advice and acted CRAZY!! I will act like a total lunatic if it will get him to talk to me!  Now I can give him "the look" from across the room, and he will say it. That manual is so amazingly practical, and it is a GODSEND right now! Thank you SO MUCH!”

"I wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you. I started watching your videos/podcasts about 4 months ago. My son has gone from losing words he previously used, only having about 7 words at his 2 year check up in August (assessed at a blended 10 month language level) -- to now having so many words, increased social engagement, following commands, spontaneously requesting things, and naming letters & numbers (not in order) as well as colors. We had our monthly meeting with our SLP through the state infants & toddlers program and it felt like we were just bragging the whole time, but I knew in the back of my head it was because I have been using strategies you taught me.

We still have so much work to do with our sweet boy, but I know in my heart he would not have succeeded without the education you provided. I will continue to read your emails & watch videos as we go along this journey and face challenges, but credit is due to you, Laura.

Thank you so much, endlessly."


"I just want to tell how fortunate I feel to have found your website and you!! I became a special instructor in EI almost a year ago and I started with hardly any applicable training. I felt so lost and confused as how to help the kids I work with learn how to use words and play. Honestly, I didn't even understand the importance of play, although I always played with my kids. But, once I started to watch your podcasts and get some of your manuals I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could finally teach these kids and their families something of value from a real therapist and based on research!. Thank you so much for seeing the need to help other EI service providers and providing a forum to share your knowledge and years of valuable experience. I'm sure you get a lot of these emails every week if not every day, but I wanted to make I could add to those notes of gratitude!! THANK YOU again!!"


"Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for these emails and your books, I have them all and they have seriously saved and improved my sessions with my kiddos. Huge thank you."


"I was very frustrated with how speech therapy was going for my child. I would take him and drop him off and not hear much of anything from his therapist and teachers other than, "He had a good (or a bad!) day." Your materials were invaluable for us because I learned how to work with him on his speech. I learned how to teach him to talk and play. I learned how to pay attention to his cues and work with him to teach him to communicate. Without it, I have no doubt he still wouldn’t talk."


"Hi! I just wanted to say (from an SLT perspective) how incredibly useful I am finding absolutely all of your articles, blogs and resources - I only discovered your site last month and have just received all your books which I feel I am learning more than on my entire university training course!! But also the way in which you give specific, realistic, fun, encouraging ideas for working with parents is really just fantastic, I only wish I have your site sooner! Thanks so much from the UK! Kind regards."


"I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for making things a little easier to manage for me this year. I made the transition from school SLP to private therapist about a year ago. While the change was welcome, it was a lot, and I was just getting my footing in the clinic when I began teletherapy full time. Your website has been a huge lifeline in helping me work with late talkers and coach their parents in an accessible but effective way, even remotely. I look forward to getting your emails each week. I am floored by the amount of valuable, free information that your website provides, and I’m looking forward to investing in your workbooks soon. A sincere thank you for all you do!"


"You are an inspiration! I am truly grateful for the way you put into words and writing how to do what we do as SLPs. At this time in my 13 years of practicing, I find your encouragement keeps me going. As a single mom, I find it a stretch to buy materials these days and I am so thankful for the freebies you so generously share that help me teach my families. I don’t have much time to put together lists or quick references for parents!! Much gratitude!!"


"I just really appreciate your courses! I have two new clinicians that I’m working with and have recommended these courses to both of them. I’ve watched quite a few and have learned so much about serving this population. To be honest, before I started implementing your strategies I was a little frustrated with the lack of progress. My skills with engaging these little ones have improved so much! Thank you so much for making these CEUs so valuable!" C, SLP

Laura thank you so much. Btw, you have transformed my therapy- I have become such a competent and strong therapist after watching probably like 350 of your videos and podcasts over the past few years. And I am a seasoned therapist with almost 25 years experience. (Yes prob 350 episodes ha!) But there was still a lot I learned from you. I have such a thorough understanding of birth to 3 development and how to properly incorporate appropriate therapeutic goals, techniques and strategies now, thanks to you. Kelly

But I just keep watching and learning because we can always learn something new! 
Thanks for all you do! 

Hi Laura,I want to thank you so much for the resources you provide, my daughter has delayed speech and though she qualifies for CDS. Honestly the most progress she has made in her speech/language development has been after I implemented your 5 top strategies for delayed talkers! She is now almost 2.5 and her vocabulary is well over 75 (I haven’t counted recently, could be over 100) words when at 2 she barely had four words. Honestly the last few months have been a transformation for her.