Autism Symptoms

Recognizing the early signs of autism and seeking early intervention services and treatment improves the outcomes of learning, social skills, and communication in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Children with autism generally have problems in three crucial areas of development — social interaction, language and behavior.

Though each child with autism is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior, some common autism symptoms include:

Social Skills

  • Fails to respond to his or her name
  • Has poor eye contact
  • Appears not to hear you at times
  • Resists cuddling and holding
  • Appears unaware of others’ feelings
  • Seems to prefer playing alone — retreats into his or her own world
  • Doesn’t ask for help or request things

Language

  • Doesn’t speak or has delayed speech
  • Loses previously acquired ability to say words or sentences
  • Doesn’t make eye contact when making requests
  • Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm — may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
  • Can’t start a conversation or keep one going
  • May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand how to use them
  • Doesn’t appear to understand simple questions or direction

Behavior

  • Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping
  • Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed at the slightest change
  • Moves constantly
  • May be fascinated by details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car, but doesn’t understand the “big picture” of the subject
  • May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch, and yet oblivious to pain
  • Does not engage in imitative or make-believe play
  • May have odd food preferences, such as eating only a few foods, or craving items that are not food, such as chalk or dirt
  • May perform activities that could cause self-harm, such as head banging

If you would like to speak with one of our therapists about a treatment plan for your child with autism, please contact us for a free consultation.

References: Mayo Clinic

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