Understanding the Signs & Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Symptoms

Is it Autism? Understand the Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Until two of my children were diagnosed with autism, I really had very little understanding of the disorder.  Though most people have heard of autism spectrum disorder, most people are underinformed until it directly affects them.   This lack of information directly correlates to the misunderstanding and misconceptions of autism.

I truly believe that education is the key to awareness and acceptance.  Here is an easy to read a guide on the signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

Is it Autism? Understand the Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disorder that typically starts before age 3, but can be (and often is) at older ages.  Symptoms can vary from person to person, as well as the severity of the symptoms.    All persons with an autism diagnosis will have some varying degrees in the following three areas:

    • communication  (verbal & non-verbal)
    • relationships – Struggling with relating to others & their environment
  • lack of thought & behavior flexibly

Autism Symptoms In Infants and Toddlers

    • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months
    • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months
    • Does not answer to name by 12 months
    • The is no babbling or “baby talk” by 12 months
    • No pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months
    • Has no spoken words by 16 months
    • No meaningful two-word phrases (non-repeating) by 24 months

Autism Signs and Symptoms

  • Extremely Intense Emotions
  • Speech delay and, or learning disability
  • May not want to be held/touched/cuddled
  • Avoidance & sensitivity to noise and sound
  • meltdowns inability to calm down
  • Twirling and spinning of self and objects
  • Social & emotional Immaturity
  • Lack of or struggles with empathy/sympathy
  • Difficulties falling and staying asleep
  • Anxiety / Depression
  • Clumsy, constantly getting bumps and bruises.
  • Poor Muscle Tone (i.e. Not being able to walk regular distances without exhaustion)
  • Problems Playing with Others, Appearing “Bossy” or “Controlling”
  • Improper relationships with peers, acting like an adult towards other children or adults
  • Inflexible Emotions and behaviors Can’t Let Go of Issues
  • Problems getting and keeping friends
  • Inconsistent Eye Contact with others
  • Extreme intensity of interests
  • Lack of Coping Skills struggling with unexpected transitions
  • Struggles with conversations,  very one-sided
  • Robotic voice, changes or lack of changes in tone of voice
  • Persistent repetition of words or actions
  • Impulsive, lack of impulse control

These are some of the major signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.  Early intervention is key. If you notice any of these, please contact your child’s doctor as only a professional can give an autism diagnosis.  For more information on autism parenting, resource guides, and giveaways, make sure to click that purple button below!


Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families.  She is featured in the "Amazing Moms" coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho.  She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.

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