Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms vary. There are different mixes of symptoms. The severity of ASD can also vary. Most symptoms will appear before 3 years of age. Most show between 18 to 24 months.
ASD may cause a loss of some development that was already reached. It can also prevent or slow new development. Symptoms may be:
- Social skills problems
- Language and communication
- Problem behaviors
- Sensory processing problems
ASD can cause a wide range of behaviors such as:
- Social skills problems, such as:
- Little interaction or listening to others
- No eye contact
- Not imitating others
- Wanting to play alone
- Language and communication problems, such as:
- Little or no speaking
- No response to name
- Repetitive language, words, and echo words
- Use of language in unusual ways
- Problem behaviors, such as:
- Repetitive behaviors—may spend hours with a single activity such as rocking or flapping a hand
- Self-destructive behavior
- Tantrums—can be with little or no prodding
- Sensory processing problems, such as:
- Staring at certain objects for a long time
- Overreaction to small changes in their environment
- Sensitivity to sound, smell, taste, sights, and touch
- Feel pain from a light touch, but ignore more severe pain
- Experience sounds as colors, and touches as sounds
Children and their families may benefit from early, intense treatment.
- Autism spectrum disorder. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml.
- Autism spectrum disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/autism-spectrum-disorders.
- Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html.
- What are the signs of early autism? Autism Society website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/Autism/Pages/Early-Signs-of-Autism-Spectrum-Disorders.aspx.
- What are the early signs of autism? Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/Autism/Pages/Early-Signs-of-Autism-Spectrum-Disorders.aspx.
- Adrian Preda, MD
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