Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder will usually exhibit many, but not necessary all, of traits listed below. The expression of these traits can be mild to severe and may vary in intensity from symptom to symptom. In addition, the behavior usually occurs across many different situations and is consistently inappropriate for the child’s age.

Frequently observed traits of those with ASD include:

  • Insistence on sameness; resists changes in routine
  • Notable language deficits
  • Difficulty in expressing needs or wants
  • Repeats words or phrases in place of normal, interactive language
  • Laughs, cries, or shows distress for reasons not apparent to others
  • More comfortable alone; may appear aloof or indifferent to others
  • Tantrums; displays extreme distress out of proportion to situation
  • Difficulty in socially mixing with others
  • May not want to be touched or may not be physically affectionate
  • Little or no eye contact or difficulty holding eye contact
  • Unresponsive to standard teaching methods
  • Sustained odd play
  • Spins objects or self
  • Inappropriate attachment to objects
  • Apparent over- or under-sensitivity to pain
  • No real fear of dangers
  • Noticeable physical overactivity or extreme underactivity
  • Unresponsive to verbal cues; acts deaf although hearing tests normal