Some of these behaviors are seen on one end of the spectrum (e.g., classic autism); others on the opposite end (e.g., high-functioning autism, Asperger’s syndrome).

  1. Impairment of Social Relationships
    • As a baby, does not reach out to be held by mother or seek cuddling
    • Does not imitate others
    • Uses adult as a means to get wanted object, without interacting with adult as a person
    • Does not develop age-appropriate peer relationships
    • Lack of spontaneous sharing of interests with others
    • Difficulty in mixing with others
    • Prefers to be alone
    • Has an aloof manner
    • Little or no eye contact
    • Detached from feelings of others
  2. Impairment of Social Communication
    • Does not develop speech, or develop an alternative method of communication such as pointing and gesturing
    • Has speech, then loses it
    • Repeats words or phrases instead of using normal language (echo-lalia)
    • Speaks on very narrowly focused topics
    • Difficulty in talking about abstract concepts
    • Lack or impairment of conversational skills
  3. Impairment of Imaginative Thought
    • Inappropriate attachment to objects
    • Obsessive odd play with toys or objects (lines up or spins continually)
    • Does not like change in routine or environment (going to a different place, furniture moved in house)
    • Will eat only certain foods
    • Will use only the same object (same plate or cup, same clothes)
    • Repetitive motor movements (rocking, hand flapping)
  4. Other Behaviors
    • Peculiar voice characteristics (flat monotone or high pitch)
    • Does not reach developmental milestones in neurotypical time frame or sequence
    • Low muscle tone
    • Uneven fine and gross motor skills
    • Covers ears
    • Does not respond to noise or name, acts deaf
    • Does not react to pain
    • Becomes stiff when held, does not like to be touched
    • Becomes hyperactive or totally nonresponsive in noisy or very bright environments
    • Eats or chews on unusual things
    • Puts objects to nose to smell them
    • Removes clothes often
    • Hits or bites self (hits head or slaps thighs or chest)
    • Whirls himself like a top
    • Has temper tantrums for no apparent reason and is difficult to calm down
    • Hits or bites others
    • Lacks common sense
    • Does not appear to understand simple requests
    • Frequent diarrhea, stomachache or constipation

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