Core Symptoms of Autism

Though each child with autism is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior, there are some common symptoms of autism that parents can look for.

Social Skills Symptoms may include

Symptoms of Autism

  • Fails to respond to his or her name
  • Has poor eye contact
  • Appears to have selective hearing
  • Resists cuddling and holding
  • Failure to establish friendships with children the same age.
  • Seems to prefer playing alone
  • Does not ask for help or make requests
  • Lack of empathy

Language

  • Delay in, or lack of, learning to talk. As many as 40% of people with autism never speak.
  • Loses previously acquired vocabulary
  • Speaks in an abnormal tone of voice
  • Struggles with two-way communication
  • Repeats words or phrases
  • Stereotyped and repetitive use of language. People with autism often repeat over and over a phrase they have heard previously (echolalia).

Behavior

Symptoms Of Autism

  • Stereotyped behaviors, these may include repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping
  • Develops specific routines and has trouble with change
  • Seems fascinated by details of an object
  • Unusually sensitive to light, sound, and touch
  • Exhibits an unusually high tolerance for pain
  • Does not engage in imaginative play
  • Has odd or selective food preferences
  • Exhibits self-injurious behaviors, such as head banging
  • A need for sameness and routines. For example, a child with autism may always need to eat bread before salad and insist on driving the same route every day to school.
  • Limited interests in activities or play.
  • Symptoms may include:
    • An unusual focus on pieces. Younger children with autism often focus on parts of toys, such as the wheels on a car, rather than playing with the entire toy.
    • Preoccupation with certain topics. For example, older children and adults may be fascinated by video games, trading cards, or license plates.
    • A need for sameness and routines. For example, a child with autism may always need to eat bread before salad and insist on driving the same route every day to school.
    • Stereotyped behaviors. These may include body rocking and hand flapping.

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