Autism Symptoms Checklist: What You Need to Know

Autism Symptoms

April is Autism Awareness Month, so we thought it would be a good idea to repost our autism symptoms checklist below. Some of this information may already be well known to many, but it wasn’t for us when our son was younger. He received a delayed diagnosis, mainly due to our ignorance about autism at the time. Had we come across a list like this sooner, we would have been able to provide much-needed intervention at an earlier age.

Remember that autism is a complex neurological condition, so it’s very important to consult with a licensed medical professional if you suspect you or a loved one may have the disorder.

Please Tweet, Share and +1 this info so others may have it available for current or future reference:

Autism Symptoms
The severity, frequency, and grouping of the following symptoms will determine where (if at all) an individual will fall on the autism spectrum.

• Repetitive behaviors (may want to watch the same program over and over again)
• Unresponsive to commands or questions ("in their own world")
• Delayed speech & language development (non-verbal, especially by age 3)
• Lack of imitation of others or imaginative play
• Indifferent to the feelings of others
• Hypersensitivity to light & sound (covers ears when music is played or covers eyes when going outside)
• Self-stimulatory behaviors (rocking, jumping up and down, hand flapping)
• Echolalia (Repetition or echoing of a word or phrase just spoken by another person)
• Unusual emotional responses (inappropriate laughing or crying)
• Frequent temper tantrums / meltdowns
• Responds adversely to physical affection, hugs, kisses, etc.
• Shows no interest in making friends
• Does not initiate conversation
• Very poor diet (may eat only starches)
• Frequently walks on tip-toes as a toddler
• Socially withdrawn or socially awkward
• Shows little expressive language
• Clumsiness (falls or trips often)
• Improper use of pronouns, statements, and questions
• Unusual tone or rhythm of speech
• Self Injurious Behavior (head banging, scratching/biting self)
• Frequently makes irrelevant remarks
• Difficulty with abstract language and concepts
• Preoccupied with one or only a few narrow interests
• Need for sameness (adheres to routines)
• Severe tantrums when routines are disrupted
• Shows an attachment to unusual objects such as car parts, branches, leaves, etc.
• Fascination with spinning objects or spinning one’s self
• Very good at rote memory tasks such as repeating lists of items or facts

6 Responses to Autism Symptoms Checklist: What You Need to Know

  1. Sandra says:

    Thank you for sharing this list. As you point out, Autism is a spectrum of behaviors. It is important to keep in mind that someone may not have all of these symptoms. My son has Autism but doesn’t have all of these behaviors. Also, some of these he has outgrown or they are not as severe as when he was little.

  2. Cyn says:

    Thank you for posting this list and I have shared it on my facebook and twitter accounts. I let folks know that my son has done at one time or another had most of the symptoms on the list but with early intervention things are changing with him. But with awareness there is understanding and with understanding come compassion.

  3. Pam Mason says:

    This is all about children. I’m not a toddler, and I don’t “play” at all. I think you should either make it clear that you’re just speaking to parents solely, or else have a separate checklist. No one wants to be treated as a child. We get enough of that from the outside world.

  4. Crystal Walsh says:

    this list helped me so much! my 4 yr old does prob every single one. he was a month early bbeing born. and for most part did stuff on time. never crawled, he butt scooted. walked at 15mnths. dr.s and speech say its probably apraxia. but how can they rule autism out. they cant. this has and will be the hardest road i will have to go down. im 29yrs old. and prayed for a child for a whole 4yrs. i finaly got my miracle boy and now he has to go through this. im def. am in proccess of more answers and more speech therapy..thank you.

  5. Swarna Jayawardene says:

    It’s very useful for teachers ,parents & doctors.Thankyou

  6. stacey adams says:

    i was on this sight and i thought i would say something i jsut found out that my 13 year old son might have Autism they r going to start testing to see it heart braking to me cause it took 13 years

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All information in this site is presented for support and educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for medical treatment or visiting a licensed medical physician.

Visitors who desire to apply or use any information listed herein are urged to consult with licensed healthcare professionals first. All information is deemed reliable but its accuracy can't be guaranteed.

Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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