Frequently Asked Questions

Autism Indicators
All children with ASD demonstrate deficits in (1) social interaction, (2) verbal and non-verbal communication and (3) repetitive behaviours or interests. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviours that can range from the very mild to severe.
No single indicator necessarily signals autism - usually a child would present with several indicators from the following:-

  • Demonstrates an absence of or delay in pointing to express interest
  • Hand leading or using another's body to communicate, often replacing pointing
  • Has no meaningful words or fewer than five (5) meaningful words by 24 months of age
  • Failure to orient to name or delayed response to name; lack of attention to voice, particularly neutral voice
  • Loses language or social skills
  • Poor eye contact or failure to look at others
  • Doesn’t seem to know how to play with or have an interest in sharing toys
  • Demonstrates solitary behaviours; prefers to be alone. They may play next to, but not with others and establishing friendships, with give and take, may be lacking
  • Excessively lines up toys or other objects
  • Is attached to one particular toy or object
  • Doesn't socially smile
  • Rigidly insists on routine/sameness and demonstrates an unwavering resistance to change
  • Has unusual responses to sensory experiences
    • May appear hyperactive, and pursue movement to an excessive degree, or appear unresponsive or ‘flat’ if overwhelmed or hypersensitive to sensory input and movement. 
    • May have an unusual or extreme response to sounds and cover their ears in response to vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, crying babies, sirens or other loud or unexpected noise.
    • May be extremely affected by smells, tastes, textures, heat, or commotions.
    • May have problems falling asleep, or staying asleep. Children who are overly reactive to crowds and commotion may appear uncomfortable or avoidant of cafeterias, malls, gymnasiums, parties, family gatherings or even theatres
  • May have a greater interest in sensory and physical play with others, such as tickling, hugging, piggy back or chasing, or video games, fantasy play, repetitive watching of movies or reading books to the exclusion of social interaction
  • Demonstrates inappropriate laughing, giggling, crying or distress for reasons not apparent to others
  • Are echolaic - copies words like a parrot
  • Uneven gross/fine motor skills
  • Displays evidence of a general lack of fear or fearlessness. May talk openly with strangers, hug strangers, invade people’s personal space, bump into peers in lines, touch or climb upon people inappropriately or have an excessive or complete lack of separation anxiety from parents or caregivers
  • Demonstrates aggressive and/or self-injurious behaviours
  • Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain
  • Is not responsive to verbal cues and acts at times as being hearing impaired although hearing tests are in the normal range.
  • Is averse to social touch, poor non-social visual orientation/attention, excessive mouthing of objects