Autism Home > Signs of Autism

Possible indications of autism can appear as early as infancy. The first signs can also appear in children who seem to have been developing normally. Autism signs include impaired social interaction and difficulty communicating verbally or nonverbally. Parents are usually the first to notice possible symptoms in their child.

Signs of Autism: An Overview

Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child. In some cases, the baby seemed "different" from birth, unresponsive to people or focusing intently on one item for long periods of time.
 
The first autism signs can also appear in children who seem to have been developing normally. When an engaging, babbling toddler suddenly becomes silent, withdrawn, self-abusive, or indifferent to social overtures, something is wrong. Research has shown that parents are usually correct about noticing developmental problems, although they may not realize the specific nature or degree of the problem.
 
There are three distinctive signs of autism. These include:
 
  • Repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests
  • Difficulties with social interaction
  • Problems with verbal and nonverbal communication.
     
Each of these possible symptoms runs the gamut from mild to severe. They will appear in each individual child differently. For instance, a child may have little trouble learning to read but exhibit extremely poor social interaction. Each child will display communication, social, and behavioral patterns that are individual but fit into the overall diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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