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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Autism Spectrum Disorders: Genetic Testing. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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ASD Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of ASD can begin in early childhood and typically continue throughout the life of the affected individual. The following list includes one or more signs and symptoms exhibited by individuals with ASD:
  • Not pointing at objects to show interest (eg, not point at an airplane flying over)
  • Not looking at objects when another person points at them
  • Having trouble relating to others or not having an interest in other people at all
  • Avoiding eye contact and wanting to be alone
  • Having trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • Preferring not to be held or cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
  • Appearing to be unaware when people talk to them, but responding to other sounds
  • Showing interest in people, but do not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
  • Repeating or echoing words or phrases said to them or repeating words or phrases in place of normal language
  • Having trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
  • Not playing “pretend” games (eg, not pretend to “feed” a doll)
  • Repeating actions over and over again
  • Having trouble adapting when a routine changes
  • Having unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
  • Losing skills they once had (eg, stop saying words they were previously using)