Home > Parenting > Child > Parenting 23 April 2013 All about autism Read more about the signs and symptoms of autism in both babies and older children. 0 iStock Related Autistic kids don't copy silly behaviour Eating issues tied to autism The 'learning curve' of living with asperger's ASK The Paediatrician » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Quiz Are you ready for a baby? » Subscribe Parenting newsletter » 10 interesting Down syndrome facts Autistic savant 'reads minds' Doesn’t make eye contact (e.g. look at you when being fed).Doesn't smile when smiled at.Doesn't respond to his or her name or to the sound of a familiar voice.Doesn’t follow objects visually.Doesn't point or wave goodbye or use other gestures to communicate.Doesn’t follow the gesture when you point things out.Doesn’t make noises to get your attention.Doesn’t initiate or respond to cuddling.Doesn’t imitate your movements and facial expressions.Doesn’t reach out to be picked up.Doesn’t play with other people or share interest and enjoyment.Doesn’t ask for help or make other basic requests. By 6 months: No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions.By 9 months: No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions.By 12 months: Lack of response to name.By 12 months: No babbling or “baby talk.”By 12 months: No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving.By 16 months: No spoken words.By 24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating. Signs in older children Appears disinterested or unaware of other people or what’s going on around them.Doesn’t know how to connect with others, play, or make friends.Prefers not to be touched, held, or cuddled.Doesn’t play "pretend" games, engage in group games, imitate others, or use toys in creative ways.Has trouble understanding or talking about feelings.Doesn’t seem to hear when others talk to him or her.Doesn't share interests or achievements with others (drawings, toys). Speaks in an abnormal tone of voice, or with an odd rhythm or pitch (e.g. ends every sentence as if asking a question).Repeats the same words or phrases over and over.Responds to a question by repeating it, rather than answering it.Refers to themselves in the third person.Uses language incorrectly (grammatical errors, wrong words).Has difficulty communicating needs or desires.Doesn’t understand simple directions, statements, or questions.Takes what is said too literally (misses undertones of humour, irony, and sarcasm). Avoids eye contact.Uses facial expressions that don't match what he or she is saying.Doesn’t pick up on other people’s facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures.Makes very few gestures (such as pointing). May come across as cold or “robot-like.”Reacts unusually to sights, smells, textures, and sounds. May be especially sensitive to loud noises.Abnormal posture, clumsiness, or eccentric ways of moving (e.g. walking exclusively on tiptoe). Follows a rigid routine (e.g. insists on taking a specific route to school)Has difficulty adapting to any changes in schedule or environment (e.g. throws a tantrum if the furniture is rearranged or bedtime is at a different time than usual).Unusual attachments to toys or strange objects such as keys, light switches, or rubber bands.Obsessively lines things up or arranges them in a certain order.Preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest, often involving numbers or symbols (e.g. memorizing and reciting facts about maps, train schedules, or sports statistics).Spends long periods of time arranging toys in specific ways, watching moving objects such as a ceiling fan, or focusing on one specific part of an object such as the wheels of a toy car.Repeats the same actions or movements over and over again, such as flapping hands, rocking, or twirling (known as self-stimulatory behaviour or “stimming”). Some researchers and clinicians believe that these behaviours may soothe children with autism more than stimulate them. Hand flappingRocking back and forthSpinning in a circleFinger flickingHead bangingStaring at lightsMoving fingers in front of the eyesSnapping fingers Tapping earsScratchingLining up toysSpinning objectsWheel spinningWatching moving objectsFlicking light switches on and offRepeating words or noises Autism South Africa NEXT ON HEALTH24X A weak grip may signal future health trouble, even in kids 2018-08-28 13:00 More: ChildParenting advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... 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