Possible signs

girl siting alone Little awareness of others.
little boy crying Self-injurious behaviour, e.g. head banging, scratching or biting.
kids playing with toys Imaginative play may be poor. E.g. cannot play with a wooden block as if it is a car.
girl jumping for joy Unusual habits such as rocking, hand flapping, spinning of objects etc.
young boy speaking The development of speech and language may be atypical, absent or delayed.
friends chatting to each other Indifference to, or dislike of being touched, held or cuddled.
young child reading Minimal reaction to verbal input and sometimes acts as though he/she is deaf.
unenthusiastic boy Sense of touch, taste, sight, hearing and/or smell may be heightened or lowered.
sad boy Changes in routine or the environment may cause distress.
crying girl Sudden laughing or crying for no apparent reason
happy jumping boy Pursues activities repetitively and cannot be influenced by suggestions of change.
inquisitive boy Uneven gross/fine motor skills.
child hugging teddy bear Inappropriate attachment to objects.
frightened boy Abnormal sleeping patterns.
little girl singing Displays extreme distress and/or tantrums for no apparent reason
young girl reading Prefers to play alone.
toddlers playing Difficulty in interacting with others and little or no eye contact.
boy jumping for joy No real fear of dangers.

Possible Signs (taken from Autism Ontario – Durham Region)

  • No babbling by 11 months of age
  • No simple gestures by 12 months (e.g., waving bye-bye)
  • No single words by 16 months
  • No 2-word phrases by 24 months (noun + verb – e.g., “baby sleeping”)
  • No response when name is called, causing concern about hearing
  • Loss of any language or social skills at any age
  • Rarely makes eye contact when interacting with people
  • Does not play peek-a-boo
  • Doesn’t point to show things he/she is interested in
  • Rarely smiles socially
  • More interested in looking at objects than at people’s faces
  • Prefers to play alone
  • Doesn’t make attempts to get parent’s attention; doesn’t follow/look when someone is pointing at something
  • Seems to be “in his/her own world”
  • Odd or repetitive ways of moving fingers or hands
  • Oversensitive to certain textures, sounds or lights
  • Lack of interest in toys, or plays with them in an unusual way (e.g. lining up, spinning, opening/closing parts rather than using the toy as a whole)
  • Compulsions or rituals (has to perform activities in a special way or certain sequence; is prone to tantrums if rituals are interrupted)
  • Preoccupations with unusual interests, such as light switches, doors, fans, wheels


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