Lack of verbal language.
Limited in their ability to play.
No interest in socializing.
Now lets break these down to give you more examples of different autism sypmtoms. When we say Lack of verbal language that means that the child struggles to get his or her words out. If they are talking, they usually are have what is called echolalia. This is like a parrot. The child repeats what they have heard from a favorite movie. For example you may say, "Get your shoes on, we are going bye-bye." And the child repeats, "To infinity and beyond!" They give answers but they have no idea what they are saying.
Language Is Not Clear
Many children have apraxia. This is where they have language but it is not clear. They tend to leave a part of the word off when talking. For example, if they want to take a bath they would say, "I wa-- ba--, ps." You know what they are saying but the words have things left out of them.
Autism symptoms show that these children do not understand humor. The language they do have is very concrete language. They cannot talk or understand feelings and emotions. They often cannot feel pain. They often have their hands over their ears because their hearing is way to sensitive. Autism symptoms often are first recognized by a parent. Parents usually get a gut feeling that things are just not quite right with their child.
When these children are playing, they typically do not have imagination play. They are not the children who are into playing dress up.
A Fascination With Trains
Many of these children are into Thomas The Tank Engine. Trains are a huge facination. But if you watch them play the most interesting part of the train is the wheels. The wheels always do the same thing, they go around and around. It mesmerizes our children.
Other things that our children play with can seem very odd at times. They like, ceiling fans, the wheels on a vehicle (the vehicle itself), musical books (they love pushing the buttons over and over), numbers, letters or hidges on a door. They love battery operated toys because they say the same thing over and over. Our kids love repetition.
Other autism symptoms are repetive behaviors. Most common are flapping of the hands, humming, flicking their fingers infront of their face, lining things up up in perfect order, spinning or jumping non stop. More bothersome are the behaviors that have to do with self injury. Such as biting the back of their hands, pinching and pulling on body parts.
Poor Eye Contact
Lack of eye contact is pretty common in children who are on the autism spectrum. The only way that I could get my son to look at me was to lay on my back and hold him over me with him looking down. Often, they work hard only use their peripheral vision.
Many Sensory Issues
Often these children have sensory issues. They don't like to be held or touched. They wince when brushing their teeth. They walk on their toes (a lot of times this is because of bowel issues). They crave deep pressure. They love it when you roll over them or smash them between pillows.
Alot of these children have very selective listening skills. They act like they are deaf. They often do not respond to someone calling their name. But yet whisper a word like, "milk" and they hear you!
No Play Dates
These are children who don't make friends. They are not the children asking for a play date.
Some of these kids are very into cause and effect. Like turning the lights on and off. Or opening and closing doors. They often can be found pushing a button over and over and over again.
These Kids Bolt
These are children who do not recognize danger. They bolt in parking lots or out into streets. They don't show fear from falling off of things that they climb.
High Anxiety Levels
Another autism symptoms is that these children show high levels of anxiety when asked to do something new.
What I Saw As A Mom
In each of the above core areas, you can see problems. In my son he had only 5 simple words by age 2. He could not point. He had no interest in playing with other children. He was obsessed with Thomas the train. He lined his toys up in straight lines. He had melt downs (a melt down is much stronger than a chid having a fit) whenever you removed a train that he had in a straight line. He would laugh uncontrollably for no apparent reason, for hours. He could not sleep through the night. He had a need for the same routine every day. My son couldn't even grasp the idea of potty training when other kids his age could. My son flapped his arms so much I was just waiting for him to lift off and fly. My son, pulled away when I tried to hug him. My son acted like he was deaf.
So as you can see from the above list, autism symptoms can show itself in many forms. And to different degrees. If you suspect your child may have autism, then I highly recommend that you start seeking help. The sooner interventions are started, the better the child does.