What are the Signs & Symptoms of Autism?

Social Skills:

Individuals with autism have difficulty in communicating and expressing their feelings and trouble understanding the feelings of others. Eventually, as they grow up they may experience anxiety and depression which would make it difficult for them to adjust or adapt to social problems.

Examples of Social Issues related to Autism:

  • Poor eye contact
  • Does not respond to his/ her name
  • Prefers to stay aloof
  • Does not understand non-verbal cues of others
  • Has difficulty in understanding or expressing his/her own feelings
  • Has difficulty understanding personal space and boundaries
  • Avoids touch or seeks more physical touch for example hugging, kissing, etc.

Communication skills:

Each child with autism spectrum disorder differs in communication skills from the others. Some of them can speak well, whereas others may be mute, still some others would have speech in the form of one or two words. About 25 to 30% of children with autism speak a few words at 12 to 18 months of age after which, they may be lost.

Examples of Communication Difficulties are:

  • Delayed development of speech and language skills
  • Repetitive words or sentences over and over again (echolalia)
  • Irrelevant speech i.e. gives unrelated answers to questions
  • Pretend play is absent, for example cannot pretend to feed a doll
  • Does not understand jokes, riddles or questions

Unusual interests and behavioral issues:

Individuals with autism often have unusual interests and behaviors like:

  • Plays with toys in an unusual manner
  • Obsession with irrelevant objects like bottle caps, wires, buttons, key rings, water pipes, etc.
  • Lines up objects or toys
  • Minor changes in the routine or environment can be very upsetting
  • Repetitive behaviors like hand flapping, rocking, spinning objects
  • Smelling objects or people
  • Strong avoidance of certain food items, tastes, textures of clothing, etc.
  • Unusual fears or dislikes, e.g. cutting nails, flowers
  • Self stimulatory behaviors like rocking, tapping hands/ feet

Physical features:

While social and behavioral issues are more obvious it these children, some characteristic physical features may also be noticed. These may also add to their difficulties in interacting with their environment.

Some Physical features of Autism are:

  • Abnormal tone of muscle (too tight or too loose muscles)
  • Winging of the Scapula (prominent shoulder blades due to weak muscles)
  • Flat Feet
  • Poor eye-hand coordination
  • Limb apraxia, (difficulty in performing planned movements of the arms or legs)
  • Balance problems
  • Sometimes lordotic (excessive inward curvature of the spine or back bone) posture
  • Clumsiness
  • Unusual sweating
  • Abnormal reaction to sensory stimuli

Other symptoms:

  • Increased hyperactivity
  • Impulsive behavior, for e.g. acting without thinking
  • Short attention span, gets distracted very easily
  • Self - injurious behavior like head banging, biting oneself, etc.
  • Aggressive behavior towards others like biting, scratching, pulling others hair, throwing objects, etc.
  • Throwing temper tantrums, unusual mood or emotional reactions
  • Lack of fear or safety consciousness
  • Fear of irrelevant objects or situations, for example fear of pressure cooker or a black plastic bag
  • Oversensitivity or under sensitivity to sound, taste, smell, look or feel
  • Odd sleep and food habits, for example; may have disturbed sleep or may not eat food items which are white in color, etc.

About Autism Child Development Centre

We are offering latest treatments under one roof in a comfortable & child-friendly environment. Our aim is to provide multi-disciplinary rehabilitation for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders like Mental retardation, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Cerebral palsy, Rett syndrome, Learning disability, Global developmental delay, etc.


   contact (@) autismcdc.com
NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute, StemAsia Hospital & Research Centre, Plot 19, Sector 40, Next to Seawood Grand Central Station (W), Nerul (W), Off. Palm Beach Road, Navi Mumbai - 400706. Maharastra, India.

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