Signs and Symptoms: Characteristics of Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental and neurological disability that causes impairments in social communication and repetitive behaviors. Individuals with ASD can learn, communicate, and socialize, but often do so in ways that are different from others. These differences can be a strength for the individual but they can also create challenges that require additional support.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, signs and symptoms for ASD may include the following:

  • Not responding to their name by 12 months of age
  • Not following directions
  • Not pointing to communicate or share interest
  • Not smiling in response to others smiling at them
  • Quick or infrequent eye contact
  • Independent for their age
  • Not interested in other children
  • Not gaining the attention of parents
  • An unusual attachment to objects or routines
  • Repeats words or phrases
  • Limited functional play and no make believe playLimited imitation skills
  • Intense tantrums

If your child displays any of these behaviors, it may be typical for their age or it could be a sign of ASD. If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss with your pediatrician or health care provider.

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