The story

From the time her daughter was very young, Briana Vartanian knew something was wrong.

Lola didn't smile. She didn't laugh. When she and Lola took walks in the park, Vartanian noticed how the other babies loved to be held by their mothers. Lola hated being touched and even more being held. But there was something even more devastating to Vartanian, who lives in Ladera Ranch, California.

"Lola never looked at me -- she looked through me. She had no idea who Mommy was," Vartanian said. "And other kids love it when someone comes up to them and smiles. She'd freak out if someone approached her -- even if it was me or my husband."

Vartanian told her pediatrician she was worried, the doctor told her Lola was fine. "She kept telling me wait and see, wait and see, and that really annoyed me," Vartanian said.

At first she took the took the doctor's advice but then decided to seek a second opinion. A couple of months ago, when Lola was 14 months old, she saw a pediatric neurologist, who diagnosed autism. Lola immediately started receiving special therapy. Read full article »

Elizabeth Cohen is a correspondent with CNN Medical News.

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