Recognizing Potential Signs of Autism

autismEvery child is different, and signs of autism can be quite different from one child to the next. Often parents suspect that something is wrong–although they are not sure what–long before Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is diagnosed. Nevertheless, there are some early signs of impending autism, and these signs tend to appear in groups. We don’t want parents to panic if they notice one of these characteristics by itself, which may mean nothing.

It’s important to note that there seem to be two different patterns of presentation of autism: one is with the child showing signs around one or two years of age and not attaining all the normal neurological milestones; the second is a slightly later onset with the child losing some previously attained milestones and regressing.

Here are ten common signs of potential ASD. As mentioned above, these signs may appear first or normal behavior may appear first, and then the child may regress.

  1. Lack of eye contact. Babies often start to make eye contact around two months of age. But what is “normal” can vary considerably.
  2. Avoiding physical contact. Most babies are consoled when they are picked up and held. The child with ASD does not want to be held and often shows a distinct preference for being alone.
  3. Lack of mimic behavior. The child doesn’t pay attention and try to copy you or other children.
  4. Obsessive-Compulsive behaviors. This is typically seen in the older toddler who wants, for example, his/her toys to remain a special pattern, order, or layout and shows signs of stress if the toys, for example, are in a different order or pattern.
  5. Over- or under-sensitivities of the senses. An example would be a child that gets very upset over certain sounds.
  6. Echolalia, which is repeating certain words or sounds over and over.
  7. Unusual sleeping habits.
  8. Poor language skills.
  9. Poor social skills.
  10. Unusual eating habits.

Remember, that as the name implies, Autism Spectrum Disorder, has a big range from very mild symptoms to very severe. Every child is different, but definitely consult your family doctor if you are worried about your child’s development.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at