People frequently start learning about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by finding out about common signs and symptoms. However, there's no one way to be autistic. Symptoms vary widely from person to
In this part of "Autism Basics" we'll look briefly at an overview from CDC and list "red flags".
Overview of Autism Signs & Symptoms
As the name "autism spectrum disorders" suggests, ASDs cover a wide range of behaviors and abilities. People who have an ASD, like all people, are very different in how they act and what they can do. No two people with ASDs will have the same
People with ASDs have serious impairments with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors again and again and might have trouble changing their daily routine. Many people with ASDs also have different ways of
learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. ASDs begin before the age of 3 and last throughout a person's life. It is important to note that some people without ASDs might also have some of these symptoms. But for people with ASDs, the impairment
is bad enough to make life very challenging.
Reference:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Autism Additional Disabilities and Conditions
Red Flags of Autism
Children and adults with an ASD might:
- Not play "pretend" games (pretend to "feed" a doll)
- Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over)
- Not look at objects when another person points at them
- Have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
- Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
- Have trouble understanding other people's feelings or talking about their own feelings
- Prefer not to be held or cuddled or might cuddle only when they want to
- Appear to be unaware when other people talk to them but respond to other sounds
- Be very interested in people, but not know how to talk to, play with, or relate to them
- Repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language (echolalia)
- Have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
- Repeat actions over and over again
- Have trouble adapting to changes in routine
- Have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
- Lose skills they once had (for instance, stop saying words they were once using).
If you see these "red flag" signs, ASD should be considered.
Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Red Flags
Other Resources and Links for Common Signs & Symptoms