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 autismspeaks.org for additional information and resources.

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