In understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) it is important to understand that there is a wide range of symptoms and the wide range of the severity of these symptoms.  Each and every child is unique and can display any number or combination of symptoms.  Autism also ranges in degrees of severity.  Two children, both with the same diagnosis, can act completely different from one another and have varying capabilities.

ASD can be detected as early as 12 months old in some cases.  It is important to be aware of the early warning signs listed below:

  • Little or no eye contact

  • Does not imitate others sounds or actions

  • Fixations on a single object for long periods of time

  • Does not use gestures such as waving bye-bye, pointing or facial expressions by 12 months

  • Fails to respond to his/her name

  • At times seems to be hearing impaired

  • No babbling by 12 months, no words by 16 months

  • Delay or any loss of  spoken language at any age

  • Over or Under Sensitivity to light, sound, and touch

  • Unusual ways of playing with toys such as lining up toys in neat rows or spinning rather than playing with them

  • Lacks imagination or the ability to pretend

  • Insistence on routine and resistance to change

  • Appearing to be "off in their own world" or preferring to play alone

  • Sudden and unexplainable tantrums

  • Repetitive behavior such as rocking back and forth, spinning in a circle or hand flapping

  • Echolalia  - Repeats or echoes words/phrases said to them