Recognizing Common Signs of Autism

There are common and not-so-common signs of autism.  The most common signs and symptoms of autism include difficulty interacting socially, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behaviors with very limited interests.  All of these symptoms can range from very mild to extreme and disabling.

The most significant symptom of autism is social interaction that is impaired or becomes impaired by the child withdrawing. The child seems to start out normally and withdraw over time. This is usually noticeable to the parents as it becomes a strong personality factor.  For instance, many children with autism do not respond to their name and do not  make much eye contact with other people.

Other symptoms that are not as well known include beginning to speak much later than other children and often referring to themselves by name rather than using the words ”I” or “me.”  They also have difficulty interacting and playing with other children and sometimes speak in a voice that sounds sort of as if they are singing. 

Most children with autism do not like to be cuddled, hugged or even touched too much.  Research has found that this is because many children with autism have a very reduced sensitivity to pain but their body compensates with an abnormally high sensitivity to sound, touch or other sensory stimulation. 

Children with autism also have a high incidence of co-existing conditions including Tourette’s syndrome, tumors on the brain, mental retardation, learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder (add).  Between 20% and 30% of  children with autism also develop epilepsy by the time they are adults, however, research has not provided a specific reason for this.

Though many of the reasons for autism are not clear, some of the latest studies have found that a combination of genetic and environmental factors are involved.  Researchers have found more answers and better treatment as studies have continued, and there is more and more indication that proper identification as early as possible may result in better treatment and marked improvement for many children with autism.

Entry Filed under: Common Symptoms

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