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  • Writer's pictureSharon Starkey

Signs of Autism

Have you ever wondered if you, you child or a family member has autism?

Every individual with autism is different and there are many signs associated with autism. You can have a few signs or you can have many. After reading this list, if you think you or someone you love has autism, I strongly suggest you get tested. Testing can be done by a Developmental Pediatrician, Neurologist, Psychologist or Psychiatrist. Below are some signs, although not exhaustive.

A person with autism or ASD might:

  • Not respond to their name

  • Not point at objects or things of interest, or demonstrate interest

  • Not play “pretend” games

  • Avoid eye contact

  • Want to be alone

  • Have difficulty understanding, or showing understanding, of other people’s feelings or their own

  • Have no speech or delayed speech

  • Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)

  • Give unrelated answers to questions

  • Get upset by minor changes

  • Have obsessive interests

  • Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles

  • Have unusual reactions (over or under-sensitivity) to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

  • Have low to no social skills

  • Avoid or resist physical contact

  • Demonstrate little safety or danger awareness

  • Reverse pronouns (e.g., says “you” instead of “I”)

  • Have unusual interests and behaviors

  • Have extreme anxiety and phobias, as well as unusual phobias

  • Lineup toys or other objects

  • Play with toys the same way every time

  • Like parts of objects (e.g., wheels)

  • Have obsessive interests

  • Hyperactivity (very active)

  • Impulsivity (acting without thinking)

  • Short attention span

  • Aggression

  • Causing self-injury

  • Meltdowns

  • Unusual eating and sleeping habits

  • Unusual mood or emotional reactions

  • Lack of fear or more fear than expected

  • Have unusual sleeping habits

(For more information, see the National Autism Association)

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