Signs & Symptoms

Children with autism typically have deficits in three areas: social interactions, communication, and repetative behavior.  

Some common early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are: 

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Lack or loss of language
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Perseveration on objects
  • Sensory issues – hyper or hypo (ex. Unusual reaction to sensory stimuli)
  • Unresponsive to name
  • Frequent tantrums
  • Toe-walking
  • Hand-flapping
  • Picky eating
  • Seems to be in his/her own world
  • Lines things up
  • Doesn't imitate
  • Doesn't play with other kids
  • Poor sleep
  • Insistence on sameness; resistance to change
  • Difficulty in expressing needs; uses gestures or pointing instead of words or doesn't point at all
  • Repeats words or phrases in place of normal, responsive language
  • Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain
  • Uneven gross/fine motor skills

It is also common for children with ASD to struggle with social interaction. They typically do not offer big smiles or warm, joyful expressions by age 6 months or later.  There is often no reciprocation of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions at 9 months or later.  Often, children with autism are not babbling by 12 months, producing language by 16 months or using two-word meaningful phrases by 24 months.

It is important to note that because autism is a spectrum disorder, no two children's symptoms are the same. The spectrum offers a range of linked conditions, with the elements of the spectrum having a similar appearance or linked to a similar cause.

If you think your child shows signs of autism, contact your pediatrician to discuss.


Due to the nature of the work we do, Judson Center upholds the privacy of the children, adults and families we serve. Therefore, photos and names may be changed to protect identity.