Signs of ASD

Individuals with autism do not look different, but they may show differences in the ways they behave, communicate, and interact with others. It is important to remember that autism affects each person differently and there is a wide range of signs which may change over time.

Signs of autism fall into two general categories and may include:

Communication and Social Interaction

  • Delayed language development
  • Making little eye contact or too much eye contact
  • Difficulty understanding language with multiple meanings (i.e. humor, sarcasm, idioms)
  • Not responding to name when called
  • Difficulty understanding non-verbal communication (facial expressions, body language, eye contact, gestures)
  • Difficulty initiating and responding to others
  • Not seeking engagement and comfort from others
  • Difficulty managing emotions
  • Difficulty understanding the perspective of others

Restrictive and Repetitive Behaviors and Interests

  • Strong need for routine, order and rituals, and difficulty changing from one activity to the next
  • Insistence on playing with toys in the same order or lining toys up in a row
  • Challenges in using learned skills in different environments (generalization)
  • Hypo -or hyper-reactivity to sensory inputs
  • Flapping hands, rocking, or spinning
  • Repeating words or phrases over and over
  • Intense area of interest that is elevated in intensity or focus