Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders usually show before the age of 3. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one third of half of parents of children with ASD noticed signs before third child's first birthday, and nearly 80% to 90% saw signs by 24 months of age. It is important to know that not all children with ASD show every single sign of autism. However, the impairments tend to make life very challenging for both the child and the family. Individuals with ASD usually show warning signs in the following areas: social, communication, and behaviors

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Social

 

  • Does not respond to name by 12 months of age

  • Avoids eye-contact prefers to play alone

  • Does not share interests with others, only interacts to achieve a desired goal

  • Has flat or inappropriate facial expressions

  • Does not understand personal space boundaries

  • Avoids or resists physical contact

  • Is not comforted by others during distress

  • Has trouble understanding other people's feelings or talking about own feelings

Communication

  • Delayed speech and language skills

  • Repeats words, or phrases over and over

  • Reverses pronouns

  • Gives unrelated answers to questions

  • Does not point or respond to pointing

  • Uses few or no gestures, talks in a flat, robot-like, or sing-song voice

  • Does not pretend in play

  • Does not understand jokes, sarcasm, or teasing

Behavior

  • Lines up toys or other objects

  • Plays with toys the same way every time

  • Likes parts of objects

  • Is very organized

  • Gets upset by minor changes

  • Has obsessive interests

  • Has to follow certain routines

  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles

Other Possible Symptoms

  • Hyperactivity, impulsivity

  • Short attention span

  • Aggression

  • Self injury

  • Temper tantrums

  • Unusual eating and sleeping habits

  • Unusual mood or emotional reactions

  • Lack of fear or more fear than expected

  • Unusual reactions to way things sounds, smell, taste, look, or feel

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