Signs and Symptoms 2017-10-13T21:03:45+00:00

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

Spoken language

  • Delayed speech development (for example, not speaking at least 10 different words by the age of two), or not speaking at all

  • Frequent repetition of set words and phrases

  • Speech that sounds very monotonous or flat

  • Preferring to communicate using single words, despite being able to speak in sentences

Responding to others

  • Not responding to their name being called, despite having normal hearing

  • Rejecting cuddles initiated by a parent or carer (although they may initiate cuddles themselves)

  • Reacting unusually negatively when asked to do something by someone else

Interacting with others

  • Not being aware of other people’s personal space, or being unusually intolerant of people entering their own personal space

  • Little interest in interacting with other people, including children of a similar age

  • Not enjoying situations that most children their age like, such as birthday parties

  • Rarely using gestures (such as pointing) or facial expressions when communicating
    avoiding eye contact

Behaviour

  • Having repetitive movements such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth or flicking their fingers

  • Playing with toys in a repetitive and unimaginative way, such as lining blocks up in order of size or colour, rather than using them to build something

  • Preferring to have a familiar routine, and getting extremely upset if there are changes to their normal routine

  • Having a strong like or dislike of certain foods, based on the texture or colour of the food as much as the taste

SIGNS OF AUTISM IN SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN

Features of ASD that can develop in older children and teenagers are explained below.

Interacting with others

  • Not being aware of other people’s personal space, or being unusually intolerant of people entering their own personal space

  • Little interest in interacting with other people, including children of a similar age, or having few close friends despite attempts to form friendships

  • Not understanding how people normally interact socially, such as greeting people or wishing them farewell

  • Being unable to adapt the tone and content of their speech to different social situations, for example speaking very formally at a party and then speaking to total strangers in a familiar way

  • Not enjoying situations and activities that most children their age like

  • Rarely using gestures or facial expressions when communicating

  • Avoiding eye contact

Behaviour

  • Playing in a repetitive and unimaginative way, often preferring to play with objects rather than people

  • Having repetitive movements such as flapping their fingers, rocking back and forth or flicking their fingers

  • Developing a highly specific interest in a particular subject or activity

  • Preferring to have a familiar routine, and getting extremely upset if there are changes to their normal routine

  • Having a strong like or dislike of certain foods, based on the texture or colour of the food as much as the taste

Responding to others

  • Taking people’s speech literally and being unable to understand sarcasm, metaphors or figures of speech

  • Reacting unusually negatively when asked to do something by someone else

Spoken language

  • Preferring to avoid using spoken language

  • Speech that sounds very monotonous or flat

  • Speaking in pre-learned phrases, rather than putting together individual words to form new sentences

  • Seeming to talk ‘at’ people, rather than sharing a two-way conversation