ASD Indicators

Autism rates are increasing.

There is disagreement about whether Autism is being over-diagnosed or better-diagnosed. Regardless, communities, agencies, and schools, are seeing an increase in the Autism population and this means that we need more accurate information out there, more public acceptance, more accommodations, more resources (across the lifespan, not just for small children), and more understanding.

The current CDC Autism prevalence rates are around 1 in 44. *as of 2021

Early intervention can be pivotal in helping Autistics experience as much independence as possible over their lifespan, and overcome behavioral, cognitive, or socio-emotional challenges they may face in daily life.

The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner you can access treatment, funding, support, IEPs in the school system, SSI, etc.
Children as young as toddler age can be diagnosed. If your doctor will not evaluate your child for Autism because they are "too young" or may outgrow symptoms, consult with another doctor or specialist.

The following characteristics may be an indication of Autism Spectrum Disorder and should warrant further evaluation:

Impairment in Social Interaction:

  • Lack of appropriate eye gaze
  •  Lack of warm, joyful expressions
  •  Lack of sharing interest or enjoyment
  •  Lack of response to name 

Impairment in Communication:
  • Lack of showing gestures
  • Lack of coordination of nonverbal communication
  • Unusual prosody (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm,
    unusual voice quality)

Repetitive Behaviors & Restricted Interests:
  • Repetitive movements with objects
  • Repetitive movements or posturing of body, arms, hands, or fingers 

An Autistic person might:
  • Not respond to their name (the child may appear deaf)
  • Not point at objects or things of interest, or demonstrate interest
  • Not play “pretend” games
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Want to be alone over interact with others
  • Have difficulty understanding, or showing understanding, or other people’s feelings or their own
  • Have no speech or delayed speech
  • Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Get upset by minor changes
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
  • Have unusual reactions (over or under-sensitivity) to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
  • Have low to no social skills
  • Avoid or resist physical contact
  • Demonstrate little safety or danger awareness
  • Reverse pronouns (e.g., says “you” instead of “I”)
  • Have unusual interests and behaviors
  • Have extreme anxiety and phobias, as well as unusual phobias
  • Line up toys or other objects
  • Play with toys the same way every time
  • Like parts of objects (e.g., wheels)
  • Become upset by minor changes
  • Have restricted, or very narrow, interests

*Resource: The M CHAT is a simple and quick screening tool for Autism that takes about 5 minutes to complete and can be administered by anyone. A screening tool is simply an indicator of whether or not further professional evaluation should be pursued.

Here is some information for adults wanting an Autism evaluation. It can be much more challenging and expensive to receive formal diagnosis as an adult.

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