Autism is becoming more and more prevalent in the world today. Many times autism is hard to diagnose or catch early due to the fact that early motor skills such as crawling walking and sitting occur during the normal time periods. It is the socialization skills that usually show the first signs of autism.  Although there is no known cure for autism, many children have been able to improve their development skills and learn new skills. Some children improve their skills so much that they no longer meet the criteria for ASD.  The key to improvement is catching the signs of ASD/autism early so that intervention can start immediately.

Below are symptoms of ASD:
Social differences

• Doesn’t snuggle when picked up, but arches back instead

• Doesn’t keep eye contact or makes very little eye contact

• Doesn’t respond to parent’s smile or other facial expressions

• Doesn’t look at objects or events parents are looking at or pointing to

• Doesn’t point to objects or events to get parents to look at them

• Doesn’t bring objects to show to parents just to share his interest

• Doesn’t often have appropriate facial expressions

• Unable to perceive what others might be thinking or feeling by looking

at their facial expressions

• Doesn’t show concern (empathy) for others

• Unable to make friends

Communication differences

• Doesn’t say single words by 15 months or 2-word phrases by 24 months

• Repeats exactly what others say without understanding its meaning

(parroting or echolalia)

• Doesn’t respond to name being called, but does respond to other sounds

(like a car horn or a cat’s meow)

• Refers to self as “you” and others as “I” (pronominal reversal)

• Often doesn’t seem to want to communicate

• Doesn’t start or can’t continue a conversation

• Doesn’t use toys or other objects to represent people or real life in

pretend play

• May have a good rote memory, especially for numbers, songs, TV jingles,

or a specific topic

• Loses language milestones, usually between the ages of 15 to 24 months

in a few children (regression)

Behavioral differences (stereotypic, repetitive, and

restrictive patterns)

• Rocks, spins, sways, twirls fingers, or flaps hands (stereotypic behavior)

• Likes routines, order, and rituals

• Obsessed with a few activities, doing them repeatedly during the day

• Plays with parts of toys instead of the whole toy (for example, spinning

the wheels of a toy truck)

• May have splinter skills, such as the ability to read at an early age, but

often without understanding what it means

• Doesn’t cry if in pain or seem to have any fear

• May be very sensitive or not sensitive at all to smells, sounds, lights,

textures, and touch

• Unusual use of vision or gaze—looks at objects from unusual angles

• May have unusual or intense but narrow interests


If you are concerned because your child exhibits the symptoms listed above please contact Dr. Connery of Brickyard Pediatrics in Hobart Indiana to do an evaluation of your child. (219) 940-9605

The information listed above was taken from Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders by the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you would like to read the whole article click on the link below or visit under kids health educational handouts.