What Are the Symptoms of Autism?

How to find out if your child might have ASD…

While symptoms and their severity vary from child to child, the three core signs of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are: 


  • Social interaction difficulties 
  • Communication challenges
  • Tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors 


While these three core areas vary between individuals, they often times will interfere with everyday life. 


Social Challenges

Typically, developing infants are social by nature – they gaze at faces, are responsive to voices, and even begin smiling. However, most children with developing ASD have difficulty engaging in everyday human interactions. By 8 to 10 months of age, many infants who go on to develop autism are showing some symptoms such as failure to respond to their names, and reduced interest in people. These symptoms tend to become more prominent in toddlerhood through difficulty playing social games, preference for playing alone, and struggle to imitate actions of others. 

Studies have proven that children with autism are attached to their parents, however, these children tend to express their attachment in ways that parents may not understand. Often times, parents of an autistic child may feel that their child is disconnected. These children may have difficulty understanding and responding to comfort, anger, or affection, and may also struggle interpreting the actions and feelings of others.  


Emotional Challenges

It is common – but not universal – for those with autism to have difficulty regulating emotions, which can come across as “losing control” in overwhelming or frustrating situations. The frustration that autistic children feel can be difficult to regulate and can result in crying, outbursts, aggressive behavior, and even self-injury. 


Communication Challenges

By age three, most children have passed predictable milestones on the path to learning a language. By contrast, young children with autism tend to be delayed in babbling, speaking, and learning to use gestures. It is not uncommon for infants to begin developing babble and coos, only to later lose these communicative behaviors. Language delays are also common, as well as aversion to speaking in general. However, with therapy, most people with ASD will eventually learn to use language and communication skills. 


Repetitive Behaviors

Children with ASD often will often exhibit unusual repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, jumping, twirling, rocking, and repeating sounds and words. These children will often have restricted range of activities, leading to repetitive behaviors. 


Gastrointestinal Disorders

GI distress affects up to 85% of children with ASD. These conditions range in severity from a tendency for chronic constipation or diarrhea to inflammatory bowel disease. Pain caused by GI issues can prompt behavioral changes such as increased self-soothing (rocking, head banging, etc.) or outbursts of aggression or self-injury. Conversely, appropriate treatment can improve behavior and quality of life.



Pica is a tendency to eat things that are not food. Eating non-food items is a normal part of development between the ages of 18 and 24 months. However, some children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities continue to eat items such as dirt, clay, chalk, or paint chips. For this reason, it is important to test for elevated blood levels of lead in those who persistently mouth fingers or objects that might be contaminated with this common environmental toxin.


At World Stem Cell Clinic, we believe that having an informed parent is the only way to for us to deliver optimal healthcare We want to empower you and your family throughout your journey. Visit our website to find out more about our services or contact us to schedule a free evaluation of your child. Let us be part of your journey. You are not alone!