No one will exhibit all of these characteristics, as each case of autism has its own unique gifts and struggles. This is a list of commonly seen characteristics found on the autism spectrum. This list is provided for educational purposes and not meant to be used for diagnosing autism. Many of these characteristics can also be found in those struggling with ADD/ADHD. Generally, an individual with autism will have struggles in several categories below, not just one.
Very little or no eye contact.
Resistance to being held or touched.
Tends to get too close when speaking to someone (lack of personal space).
Responds to social interactions, but does not initiate them.
Does not generally share observations or experiences with others.
Difficulty understanding jokes, figures of speech or sarcasm.
Difficulty reading facial expressions and body language.
Difficulty understanding the rules of conversation.social skill deficits
Difficulty understanding group interactions.
Aversion to answering questions about themselves.
Gives spontaneous comments which seem to have no connection to the current conversation.
Makes honest, but inappropriate observations.
Seems unable to understand another’s feelings.
Prefers to be alone, aloof or overly-friendly.
Difficulty maintaining friendships.
Finds it easier to socialize with people that are older or younger, rather than peers of their own age.
Unaware of/disinterested in what is going on around them.
Talks excessively about one or two topics (dinosaurs, movies, etc.).
Overly trusting or unable to read the motives behinds peoples’ actions.
Minimal acknowledgement of others.
Abnormal use of pitch, intonation, rhythm or stress while speaking.
Speech is abnormally loud or quiet.
Repeats last words or phrases several times. Makes verbal sounds while listening (echolalia).
Often uses short, incomplete sentences.
Pronouns are often inappropriately used.
May have a very high vocabulary.
Uses a person’s name excessively when speaking to them (“Mary, we are having lunch. Right, Mary?”).
Speech started very early and then stopped for a period of time.
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