Signs of Autism

Signs of Autism

What is Autism?


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can range in a spectrum. Autism can be very mild to very severe, and the timing and severity of first symptoms can vary widely. Autism is characterized by:


  • cognitive impairments
  • difficulty in communication
  • forming relationships
  • repetitive behaviors
  • social impairments


Identifying signs can vary depending on age, but the most obvious signs tend to appear between the age of 2-3 years.

Possible signs of autism in babies and toddlers:

  • By 6 months
    • lack of social smiles or other joyful expressions directed at people
    • limited or no eye contact


  • By 9 months, no sharing of vocal sounds, smiles or other nonverbal communication


  • By 12 months:
    • no babbling
    • no use of gestures to communicate (e.g. pointing, reaching, waving etc.)
    • no response to name when called


  • By 16 months, no words


  • By 24 months, no meaningful, two-word phrases


  • Any loss of any previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills


Possible signs of autism at any age:

  • Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone


  • Struggles with understanding other people’s feelings


  • Remains nonverbal or has delayed language development


  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)


  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings


  • Has highly restricted interests


  • Performs repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking or spinning


  • Has unusual and often intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors



If you have additional questions or concerns about an autism evaluation, contact Psychology 360 today.



PLEASE NOTE: This screening measure has been adapted from Autism Speaks Inc. Please visit for additional information and resources.

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