Behavior of Infants and Children with Autism
Infants With Autism
- Avoid eye contact
- Seem deaf
- Start developing language, then abruptly stop talking all together
- Study mother's face
- Easily stimulated by sounds
- Keep adding to their vocabulary and expanding grammatical usage
Children With Autism
- Act as if unaware of the coming and going of others
- Physically attack and injure others without provocation
- Inaccessible, as if in a shell
- Cry when mother leaves the room and are anxious with strangers
- Get upset when hungry or frustrated
- Recognize familiar faces and smile
Additional Red Flags that Parents Should Note:
Your Child May Have Autism if He/She:
* does not respond to his/her name.
* cannot explain what he/she wants.
* language skills are slow to develop or speech is delayed.
* doesn’t follow directions.
* at times, seems to be deaf.
* doesn’t point or wave "bye-bye."
* used to say a few words or babble, but now doesn't.
* throws intense or violent tantrums.
* has odd movement patterns.
* is overly active, uncooperative, or resistant.
* doesn't know how to play with toys.
* doesn't smile when smiled at.
* has poor eye contact.
* gets "stuck" doing the same things over and over and can't move on to other things.
* seems to prefer to play alone.
* gets things for him/herself only.
* is very independent for his/her age.
* does things "early" compared to other children.
* seems to be in his/her "own world."
* seems to tune people out.
* is not interested in other children.
* walks on his/her toes.
* shows unusual attachments to toys, objects, or schedules
(i.e., always holding a string or having to put socks on before pants).
* spends a lot of time lining things up or putting things in a certain order.
Source: Filipek et al. (1999). Screening and diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29(6): 439-484.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These lists are not intended to be used to assess whether a particular child has autism. Diagnosis should only be done by a specialist using highly detailed background information and behavioral observations.
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