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.
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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• Socially withdrawn or socially awkward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