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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Signs and Symptoms

What are the early developmental signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders?

Common symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) include:

  • Poor eye contact
  • Not responding to one's name by 12 months
  • Problems with attention and shared interests
  • Underdeveloped skills in pretend play and imitation
  • Problems with non-verbal communication and language

Other "red flag" behaviors may also be present (signifying the need for your child to be screened for an ASD), such as:

  • Lack of positive affect (big smiles) and expressions of joy by 6 months
  • Does not babble, point, or make meaningful gestures (such as pointing or waving good-bye) by 12 months
  • Does not speak one word by 16 months
  • Does not combine two words by two years
  • Loses language or social skills
  • Doesn't know how to play with toys
  • Excessively lines up toys or other objects
  • Attachment to one particular toy or object
  • At times seems to be hearing impaired
  • Hand flapping, rocking or spinning in circles excessively

Read about our autism research.