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Learn More About Autism

The Autism Science Foundation has partnered with the CDC to provide a comprehensive list that helps families and professionals identify the signs of autism and act early. Click the tabs to the right to learn more.

Autism is not a disease. It is not contagious or dangerous and It has no characteristic look. It is however a different way to look at and experience the world.

Autistic people have talents, skills and gifts. They have and will continue to contribute greatly to the world. We as the community need to understand that.

Who is Autism? is a way to look at the past, present and future of autism. It shows us the amazing historical people that likely were autistic, the amazing autistics that are doing great things for the world today and the future generation that will continue to help make this world a better place.

KultureCity.org, 2016. , Pulled from site on February 16, 2016.

If your child is two months old

  • Doesn’t respond to loud sounds
  • Doesn’t watch things as they move
  • Doesn’t smile at people
  • Doesn’t bring his/her hands to mouth
  • Can’t hold his/her head up when pushing up on tummy

If your child is four months old

  • Doesn’t watch things as they move
  • Doesn’t smile at people
  • Can’t hold his/her head steady
  • Doesn’t make sounds or coo
  • Doesn’t bring things to his/her mouth

If your child is six months old

  • Doesn’t reach for things
  • Show no affection for caregivers
  • Doesn’t respond to sounds around her/him
  • Doesn’t make vowel sounds (eh, ah, oh)
  • Doesn’t laugh or squeal
  • Seems unusually stiff or unusually floppy

If your child is nine months old

  • Doesn’t look where you point
  • Doesn’t respond to his/her own name
  • Doesn’t babble (mama, dada)
  • Doesn’t play back and forth type games
  • Doesn’t seem to recognize familiar people

If your child is one year old

  • Doesn’t point to things
  • Doesn’t learn gestures like waving bye bye, or shaking head yes or no
  • Doesn’t search for things that she sees you hide
  • Doesn’t say single words like mama, dada, up, bye, this, that, juice
  • Doesn’t crawl
  • Loses skills he/she once had

If your child is 18 months old

  • Doesn’t point to show things to others
  • Doesn’t know what familiar things (cup, spoon, phone) are used for
  • Doesn’t imitate or copy others
  • Doesn’t have at least six words
  • Doesn’t gain new words
  • Doesn’t notice or react when a caregiver leaves or returns
  • Doesn’t walk
  • Loses skills he/she once had

If your child is 2 years

  • Doesn’t use 2-word phrases (mama up, want milk)
  • Doesn’t know what familiar things (cup, spoon, phone) are used for
  • Doesn’t imitate actions and words
  • Doesn’t follow simple instructions
  • Doesn’t walk steadily
  • Loses skills he/she once had

If your child is 3 years old

  • Has unclear speech or drools a lot
  • Doesn’t speak in sentences
  • Doesn’t follow simple instructions
  • Can’t work simple toys (simple puzzles, turning knobs/handles, peg board)
  • Shows little interest in toys
  • Doesn’t want to play with other children
  • Doesn’t play make believe or pretend
  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Falls down often or has trouble on stairs
  • Loses skills he/she once had

If your child is 4 years old

  • Ignores other children
  • Doesn’t respond to people outside the family
  • Shows no interest in make believe or pretending games
  • Can’t retell a favorite story
  • Doesn’t follow 3-step directions
  • Doesn’t use “you” and “me” correctly
  • Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
  • Speaks unclearly
  • Doesn’t scribble or has trouble scribbling with a crayon
  • Loses skills he/she once had

If your child is 5 years old

  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
  • Shows behavioral extremes (unusually aggressive, fearful, sad, shy)
  • Is unusually withdrawn and not active in social situations
  • Is easily distracted and has trouble focusing on an activity for more than five minutes
  • Doesn’t respond to people or responds only superficially
  • Can’t tell the difference between real and make believe
  • Doesn’t participate in a wide variety of games and activities
  • Can’t give his/her first and last name
  • Doesn’t use plurals, pronouns or past tense properly
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities
  • Doesn’t draw pictures
  • Loses skills he/she once had

Signs of autism in older children, teens and adults

  • Impaired social skills
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Rigid adherence to daily activities
  • Unusual interests or obsessive/repetitive behaviors
  • Being highly sensitive or underresponsive to sound, light or touch

source: Autism Science Foundation, 2013. Pulled from site on July 22, 2013.

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