Understanding The Signs And Symptoms Of ASD


Source: colourbox.com

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders is an umbrella term under which a number of neurological developmental disorders are classed. These disorders are commonly characterized by:

  • Impairments to social and cognitive skills
  • Difficulty in communicating
  • Repetitive movement behavior

The characteristics of these disorders vary from one person to another, as well as the severity of the disorder which can range from mild to severe. The list below that indicates early signs, is based on cumulative data put together in a detailed list for information purposes, but we urge the reader to remember, people with ASD’s could present with a one or a few of the early signs:

Early Common Signs                                           

Source: speechplus.in

  • May not respond to their name when being called, may appear deaf
  • Might not portray enthusiastic interest like pointing at items etc.
  • Not participating in playing “pretend” games
  • Appears to avoid making eye contact
  • Isolates themselves and prefers to be isolated
  • Have difficulty in showing, understanding or being empathetic to other people’s emotions
  • Delayed speech or might not speak at all
  • Repetitive behavior, such as repeating words or phrases over and over
  • Gives random, unrelated answers to questions they are asked
  • Do not like changes in routine and can get very upset even by minor changes
  • Obsessive interests
  • Spins in circles flap their arms or hands and rocks back and forth
  • Can present with unusual sensitivity behavior to smells, sounds, tastes, how they feel or look. They can either show over or under sensitivity
  • Present with low or no social skills
  • Avoids or resists any form of contact
  • Demonstrate little safety or danger awareness
  • Speech impairments, also often reverse pronouns

Some people with ASD’s might also;

  • Present with unusual interests and behaviors
  • Show extreme anxiety and have certain phobias, some could be considered unusual phobias
  • Always play with toys in the same way or line up toys or other objects
  • Pays more attention to certain objects or parts, for example, wheels
  • Minor changes to routines or objects can cause them a lot of distress

Other Symptoms can include those listed below but it is important to remember that not everyone with ASD’s present or experience the same symptoms or the severity of each:       




  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Have a short attention span
  • Can show aggressive behavior in certain situations
  • Self-injury
  • Have meltdowns, these are especially common in situations where minor changes to object or routines cause them stress
  • Presents with unusual eating and sleeping habits
  • Unusual emotional reactions, moods, for example, not showing fear or showing too much fear

Medical Diagnosis

Many of the symptoms listed above can appear in other diagnosis or disorders so simply determining an Autism diagnosis by comparing symptoms to a check list is not possible. The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely between those with the disorders and those too can only be determined by a panel of proper medical testing.

Understanding the Autistic Child

For a look inside the mind of children with ASD’s, you can read Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm. The book aims to give you an understanding of the symptoms those with ASD’s present with and how, knowledge and understanding you can adjust the environment, approach and interactions to include those with ASD’s ultimately arming them with the knowledge and power to journey into independent adulthood.


 Every day, individuals with autism show us that they can overcome, compensate for and otherwise manage many of autism’s most challenging characteristics. Equipping those around our children with a simple understanding of autism’s basic elements has a tremendous impact on their ability to journey towards productive, independent adulthood.”

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