Signs of ASD typically appear during early childhood and will last throughout the person’s life. The earliest signs of autism usually involve the absence of typical behaviors, so they can sometimes be difficult to spot.
Please be aware that just because a child has one or even several of the following signs, it does not necessarily mean that they have autism.
Early signs of ASD for infants and toddlers
If the child doesn't:
Make eye contact, such as looking at you when being fed or smiling when being smiled at
Respond to his or her name, or to the sound of a familiar voice
Follow objects visually or follow your gesture when you point things out
Point or wave goodbye, or use other gestures to communicate
Make noises to get your attention
Initiate or respond to cuddling or reach out to be picked up
Imitate your movements and facial expressions
Play with other people or share interest and enjoyment
Notice or care if you hurt yourself or experience discomfort
Other Signs (for older children):
Have trouble understanding other people's feelings or talking about their own feelings
Have delayed speech and language skills
Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
Give unrelated answers to questions
Get upset by minor changes
Have obsessive interests
Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
Intentionally — and repeatedly — inflicts harm on himself (such as banging his head on the door)
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