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Signs of Autism




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Children with autism may fail to respond to their names and often avoid looking at other people. They often have difficulty interpreting tone of voice or facial expressions and do not respond to others' emotions or watch other people's faces for cues about appropriate behavior. They appear unaware of others' feelings toward them and of the negative impact of their behavior on other people. Many children with autism engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and hair twirling, or in self-injurious behavior such as biting or head-banging. They also tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of "I" or "me." Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking.



People with autism often have abnormal responses to sounds, touch, or other sensory stimulation. Many show reduced sensitivity to pain. They also may be extraordinarily sensitive to other sensations. These unusual sensitivities may contribute to behavioral symptoms such as resistance to being cuddled.




Individuals with autism usually exhibit at least half of the traits listed below. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. 

bulletDifficulty in mixing with other children
bulletInsistence on sameness; resists changes in routine
bulletInappropriate laughing and giggling
bulletNo real fear of dangers
bulletLittle or no eye contact
bulletSustained odd play
bulletApparent insensitivity to pain
bulletEcholalia (repeating words or phrases in place of normal language)
bulletPrefers to be alone; aloof manner
bulletMay not want cuddling or act cuddly
bulletSpins objects
bulletNot responsive to verbal cues; acts as though deaf
bulletInappropriate attachment to objects
bulletDifficulty in expressing needs; uses gestures or pointing instead of words
bulletNoticeable physical over activity or extreme under activity
bulletTantrums - displays extreme distress for no apparent reason
bulletUnresponsive to normal teaching methods
bulletUneven gross/fine motor skills. (May not want to kick ball but can stack blocks.)



If your child displays any of these signs, bring it to the attention of your doctor:

bulletNo babbling by 12 months.
bulletNo pointing, waving and other gesturing by 12 months.
bulletNo single words by 16 months.
bulletNo two-word spontaneous (not echoed) phrases by 24 months.
bulletAny loss of language or social skills.
bulletInability to make or hold eye contact.
bulletInability to respond to the child's name being called.
bulletInability to look where you point.
bulletLack of interest in pretend play.





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You didn't lose a child to autism. You lost a child because the child you waited for never came into existence. That isn't the fault of the autistic child who does exist, and it shouldn't be our burden. We need and deserve families who can see us and value us for ourselves, not families whose vision of us is obscured by the ghosts of children who never lived. Grieve if you must, for your own lost dreams. But don't mourn for us. We are alive. We are real. And we're here waiting for you.  
                                                                                      ~  by Jim Sinclair

This is a must read for all touched by autism

click here ---  Don't mourn for us Web Site





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DISCLAIMER: This site is intended to provide basic information resources on Autism. It is not intended to, nor does it, constitute medical or other advice. The author of this web site is not a medical doctor. Readers are warned not to take any action with regard to medical treatment or otherwise based on the information on this web site or links without first consulting a physician. This web site does not necessarily endorse any of the information obtained from any of the links on this page or links that other pages may lead you to. Neither does this web site promote or recommend any treatment, therapy, institution or health care plan. The information contained in this site is intended to be for your general education and information only and not for use in pursuing any treatment or course of action. Ultimately, the course of action in treating a given patient must be individualized with their doctor.

Angels with Autism      February 2002      Last updated on 04/11/2004