Monday, June 04, 2007

Fact file - Autism signs and symptoms

Children with autism and other autism spectrum disorders typically display a range of identifiable symptoms. By being aware of these signs, parents can help spot the disorder at an earlier age, which greatly improves a child’s overall prognosis.


-- Delay in, or total lack of, development of spoken language
-- Difficulty initiating conversation
-- Echolalia (repeating words or phrases instead of using normal language)
-- Doesn’t respond to name
-- Doesn’t use or respond to gestures and other nonverbal cues

Social interaction

-- Doesn’t point to objects or show them to others
-- Doesn’t make eye contact at appropriate times
-- Doesn’t look at other people’s faces as much
-- Doesn’t respond to facial expressions or body language
-- Doesn’t smile back at others
-- Lack of peer relationships appropriate to age level
-- Less interest in other children
-- Not motivated by praise or physical affection
-- Doesn’t clearly demonstrate sympathy or empathy


-- Engages in highly repetitive play
-- Obsessively preoccupied with a specific interest or object
-- Lack of make-believe or imitative play
-- Dependent on routines, rituals and familiarity
-- Repetitive body movements (hand or finger flapping, eye rolling, twisting, spinning, rocking, etc.)
-- Preoccupation with parts of objects
-- Easily overstimulated by noises, crowds or lights
-- Extreme dislike of certain sounds, textures or situations
-- Doesn’t have strong response to pain

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