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People with ASD often have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and typically last throughout a person’s life.

Children or adults with ASD might:

  • appear to be unaware when people talk to them, but respond to other sounds (for example, not responding to their name)

  • prefer not to be touched or held, or might only tolerate it when they want it

  • repeat the same actions over and over again

  • have trouble adapting when a routine changes (for example, changing clothes before eating instead of after)

  • not point at objects to show interest (for example, not pointing at a penguin at the zoo)

  • not look at objects when another person points at them

  • have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all

  • avoid eye contact and want to be alone

  • have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings

  • be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them

  • repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language

  • have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions

  • not play “pretend” games (for example pretend to “cook”)

  • have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound

  • lose skills they once had (for example, stop saying words they were using)

Signs and Symptoms 

Studies have shown that 50% of children with autism that receive ABA therapy before the age of 4 show significant increases in IQ, verbal ability and social functioning.*

*Ryan, Joseph B., et al. “Research-Based Educational Practices for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders.” TEACHING Exceptional Children, vol. 47, no. 2, 2014, pp. 94–102., doi:10.1177/0040059914553207.