Signs of Autism

Autism is a Neurodevelopmental Disorder characterized by:

  • social impairments

  • cognitive impairments

  • communication difficulties

  • repetitive behaviours


Because Autism is a spectrum disorder, it can range from very mild to very severe and occur in all ethnic, socio-economic and age groups. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females. Some children with autism appear normal before age 1 or 2 and then suddenly “regress” and lose language or social skills they had previously gained. This is called the regressive type of autism.

Early Signs:


A person with ASD might:

  • Not respond to their name (the child may appear deaf)

  • Not point at objects or things of interest, or demonstrate interest

  • Not play “pretend” games

  • Avoid eye contact

  • Want to be alone

  • Have difficulty understanding, or showing understanding, or other people’s feelings or their own

  • Have no speech or delayed speech

  • 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 (over or under-sensitivity) to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

  • Have low to no social skills

  • Avoid or resist physical contact

  • Demonstrate little safety or danger awareness

  • Reverse pronouns (e.g., says “you” instead of “I”)


People with autism may also :

  • Have unusual interests and behaviours

  • Have extreme anxiety and phobias, as well as unusual phobias

  • Line up toys or other objects

  • Play with toys the same way every time

  • Like parts of objects (e.g., wheels)

  • Become upset by minor changes

  • Have obsessive interests


Other Symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity (very active)

  • Impulsivity (acting without thinking)

  • Short attention span

  • Aggression

  • Causing self injury

  • Meltdowns

  • Unusual eating and sleeping habits

  • Unusual mood or emotional reactions

  • Lack of fear or more fear than expected

  • Have unusual sleeping habits

Stacking Pieces
Colorful Fidget Spinners
Face Painting