Signs of Autism:

Remember that autism is a spectrum disorder so some  autistic kids may exhibit only a few of these signs whereas other children may exhibit several of these  signs.   In writing this website,  I assumed that you have or know of a child who has been diagnosed with autism.  If you are a parent reviewing this page because you are suspicious your child may have autism , then I highly recommend a book called "Does Your Baby Have Autism?".  This book goes into an in depth analysis of developmental milestones that a child should reach and when a parent should be concerned if the milestones are not achieved.  Click here to learn about this book.
Gastrointestinal signs:

  •  Diarrhea
  •  Constipation
  •  May be a selective eater interested in only a few foods.
 
     
Communication:

  • Lack  of eye contact - will look to the side when looked at.
  • nonverbal
  • Speech delays
  • May have had normal speech development  at the appropriate age,  then language regressed        
  • May not smile when smiled upon
  • Lack of social interaction- In a group of children  will often be playing  by themselves
  • If verbal, may exhibit echolalia (when a child echoes back or repeats the words spoken to him.)  For example, you might ask  "what do you want for lunch?"  and the child answers want for lunch instead of pizza or hot dog
  • May not point at objects to show interest
  • May not look  at objects that a parent points to
  • Inability to make friends
  • May not respond to their name
                


Behaviors:

  • Frequent tantrums and meltdowns
  • May be resistant to hugging, cuddling, and holding
  • Self injurious behavior (  head banging, slapping, hitting oneself )
  • Excessive rocking in chairs
  • Fingerflapping, handflapping, and spinning in circles
  • Stimulation with string or shoelaces
  • Inappropriate laughing
  • Likes a set routine.  Does not like change in daily activities.
  • Repetitive behaviors- for example  rewinds VCR tapes or dvds and plays certain parts over and over again.
  • May have difficulty getting to sleep
  • May take longer than normal  to respond to commands and requests
  • Lack of imaginative play
  • When playing, a child may focus on one part of a toy and not the whole toy such as consistently spinning the wheels of a toy car.
  • When playing,  a child  may have an obsession with lining things up in order
Sensory Overload:

  • Sensitivity  to sudden  loud noises manifested by holding one's ears
  • Sensitivity to bright lights so may prefer to be in a dark room
  • May be sensitive to the feel of certain clothing.
  • May be very sensitive to the feel of clothing tags
  • May have a very high threshold to pain
  • Parents often think their child is deaf due to the child's lack of response to  questions.
Physical Limitations:

  • May have gross motor skill delays leading to awkward movements.  These skills are needed for running, walking, jumping  etc
  • May have fine motor skill delays causing difficulty with grasping things.  These skills are needed for writing and doing other things with the hands.
  • Low muscle tone and muscular weakness
  • Due to muscular weakness, may salivate and drool excessively
  • Walking on the tips of one's toes especially after the age of five
Miscellaneous:

  •  May have had several ear infections during the first few years

Proceed to two excellent introductory books on autism

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