Symptoms

The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorders may or may not be apparent in infancy (18 to 24 months), but usually become obvious during early childhood (24 months to 6 years).

A child or adult 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
  • 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, play, 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 when a routine changes
  • 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 using)

For more information please visit the CDC page on Signs and Symptoms.