10 Common Symptoms of Autism


Autism is a developmental disorder that makes it difficult for people to effectively communicate and socially interact with others. It is a common condition, with more than 200,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States, and affects people of all ages.

There are various symptoms, and they can vary in severity. If diagnosed early, autism patients who receive behavioral, educational, and family treatments tend to reduce symptoms and support their development and learning.

Symptom 1: OCD

Do you or your child have obsessive compulsive disorder? It is a form of anxiety where your thoughts make you do repetitive actions.

For example, you worry about starting a fire. So, you check your oven dials over and over, to make sure the burners are turned off.

Symptom 2: Depression

Feel depressed? And not interested in doing activities that others find fun to do?

Autism makes it difficult to communicate that you are depressed. You become even more introverted and isolated. Anxiety and depression often come together with autism.

Symptom 3: Anxiety

Although anyone can have anxiety, people with autism are more likely to suffer from at least one anxiety disorder. There are a variety of reasons why they tend to experience anxiety, such as their struggle to interact and communicate with others.

According to the National Autistic Society, “Anxiety disorders are very common amongst people on the autism spectrum. Roughly 40% have symptoms of at least one anxiety disorder at any time, compared with up to 15% in the general population.”

Symptom 4: Difficulty Communicating

Autism makes it difficult to communicate with others – both verbally and non-verbally. You sometimes have trouble talking clearly and developing strong language skills. And you are unable to understand what others are saying.

Also, you are not able to communicate effectively using non-verbal actions with your hands, eye contact, and facial expressions.

Symptom 5: Repetitive Actions

Similar to OCD, but not necessarily related to negative thoughts, those with autism tend to repeat tasks and words over and over. It is a form of self-stimulation for them.

For example, a child visiting a friend’s home may go the back door or turn the knob, only to go back to the door two minutes later to do the same thing. Then, do it again another two minutes later.

Symptom 6: Difficulty with Social Interactions

If you have autism, you tend to be in your own world and avoid interacting with others. You are basically disconnected from society.

You often find it hard to understand and translate what you see or hear when around other people.

Symptom 7: Learning Disability/Speech Delay

Those with autism may have a learning disability or take longer to begin talking or put words and sentences together.

When they do, it is often difficult to understand what they are trying to say. Autism affects learning because those with the disorder find it hard to communicate and pay attention.

Symptom 8: Sensitive to Sounds and Touch

Autism can make you hypersensitive to sounds, being touched, and certain textures. Sensory overload can cause you to have fear, anxiety, or pain.

You may cover your ears if a sound is too loud or uncomfortable. You may react negatively if someone gives you a hug. You may only eat specific foods that have a texture you like.

Symptom 9: Inattentive

It seems like those with autism are not paying attention, or they cannot sit still to complete a task. This can happen at work, school, or home.

People with autism find it very difficult to focus due to thoughts streaming through their mind and external stimuli, such as others talking or moving.

Symptom 10: Unaware of Others’ Emotions/Feelings

People with autism struggle with their own emotions and expressing them properly. But it is even tougher to understand others’ emotions and feelings.

Those with autism have a lack of empathy. So, they do not respond appropriately to someone who is crying. They do not understand or try to comfort them.