Autism can be noticed during infancy. It is usually noticed during early childhood, which is between the ages of 2-6 years. The severity of symptoms varies. Children with autism may show a combination of behaviors. Autism is a lifelong condition.
Each child is different. Symptoms fall into four broad categories:
Children develop and change rapidly at this early stage. Symptoms often take the form of failure to progress. A child may also regress from previous achievements. Something wrong may be noticed at birth. However, it is more common to notice something wrong when your child is a toddler. He or she may not achieve normal social and developmental milestones.
The range of unusual behaviors is wide. Children have many different combinations of behaviors.
Symptoms may include:
Symptoms may include:
Autistic children usually:
Signs may include:
Some people with autism have other disorders as well. These may include:
Autism 101: a free online course. The Autism Society website. Available at: http://support.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_course. Accessed May 14, 2013.
Autism spectrum disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 6, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2013.
Autism spectrum disorders (pervasive developmental disorders). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-pervasive-developmental-disorders/index.shtml. Updated May 14, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2013.
Behrman RE, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2007.
Goetz CG. Goetz’s Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2007.
Jacobson JL, Jacobson AM. Psychiatric Secrets. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Hanley & Belfus, 2001.
Rapin I. An 8-year-old boy with autism. JAMA. 2001;285:1749-1757.
Stern TA, et al. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2008.
Last reviewed March 2014 by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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