Autism Signs: Identify if You Are on the Spectrum with These 3 Common Symptoms

Autism signs

What are the critical autism signs?

Have you ever noticed that some people behave differently from others? They may have sensory sensitivities, repeat specific actions, or have difficulty communicating. These can be autism signs, a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to interact with others and communicate effectively.

The identification of autism has evolved towards greater acceptance but also a better understanding of the signs and detection tools. Even though the spectrum is vast, and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may display different behaviors, nowadays, as a parent or caregiver (or even for yourself), you may wonder, “What are the critical autism signs?” well, now it’s easier for you to identify it and seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the increasing number of autism diagnoses, with one in 36 (2.8%) 8-year-olds currently identified with autism. In Texas, this prevalence amounts to 449,631 individuals. This rise in autism cases contributes to more comprehensive diagnoses.

If you’re here, it’s because you’re curious or need to know more about those autism signs you’re noticing in yourself or your loved one. In this blog by Texas ABA Centers, we will delve into the three most common autism signs and how therapies like Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) support neurodivergent families.

3 Common Autism Signs

Recognizing the most common signs of autism is essential for early intervention, improved understanding, and timely treatment for the most challenging behaviors in ASD. Autism typically manifests in early childhood with delayed speech, little interest in communication or social engagement, and other signs that we will explore further below.

Sensory Sensitivities

According to Pediatric Research, the neurophysiological responses to auditory, tactile, and visual stimuli are different in individuals with autism than those without. The researchers reviewed studies of unimodal sensory processing and multisensory integration using various neuroimaging techniques, suggesting significant differences in how neurodiverse individuals process sensory information.

Here are some common signs of sensory sensitivities in individuals with autism:

  • Covers ears or reacts strongly to loud or unexpected noises
  • The individual may be bothered by background noises that others may not notice
  • Exhibits discomfort or avoids bright lights
  • It may be sensitive to fluorescent lights or specific color intensities.
  • It avoids certain textures of clothing or has specific fabric preferences
  • Reacts strongly to certain odors that others may not notice
  • Difficulty with visually cluttered environments
  • Has strong food preferences or aversions based on taste or texture

Repetitive Behavior

Repetitive behaviors are a common feature of autism. These behaviors can manifest in various forms and are often used by individuals with autism to cope with the environment or to self-regulate. 

  • The individual with autism often engages in repetitive, purposeless movements such as hand-flapping, finger-flicking, or body-rocking
  • Repeats words, phrases, or sentences immediately after hearing them (immediate echolalia) or later
  • Develops intense, focused interests in specific topics, objects, or activities.
  • They may spend extensive time discussing or thinking about their particular interests
  • Tends to display a strong preference for consistency and sameness in their environment
  • Engages in repetitive and ritualistic play behaviors, such as lining up toys or sorting objects in a specific way
  • It demonstrates resistance to changes in routine, environment, or activities

The severity of repetitive behaviors can vary considerably depending on an individual’s level on the autism spectrum. Even though these behaviors may not evolve, it is vital to offer suitable intervention and support to prevent them from disrupting or impeding daily life and development. For instance, a study by Frontiers suggests that children with autism who exhibit repetitive behaviors achieve lower academic outcomes compared to their counterparts.

Communication Difficulties

Communication difficulties are among the most common autism signs parents should identify. These difficulties can affect both verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Here are some symptoms that people with autism or suspected autism may experience: 

  • May exhibit a delay in the development of spoken language skills
  • Have a limited vocabulary or need help with forming sentences
  • Demonstrates a reduced or delayed use of gestures, such as pointing, waving, or nodding
  • Difficulty understanding and using nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and eye contact
  • Tends to interpret language literally and may need help understanding figurative language or jokes
  • Displays challenges in social interactions and may have difficulty making friends or understanding social cues
  • They may have difficulty recognizing the emotions of others based on facial expressions or tone of voice
  • Demonstrates a limited ability to engage in imaginative or pretend play

Regarding the spectrum, people may have different strengths and challenges with communication. Some may excel in language skills but struggle with social communication, while others may be nonverbal. Early intervention, speech therapy, and communication support strategies tailored to the individual’s strengths and challenges can be beneficial in improving communication.

Texas ABA Centers and ABA Therapy

Once your loved one has an official diagnosis, it’s time to explore the best way to address the most challenging aspects of the spectrum before they become more severe. ABA therapy is a proven method that enhances social skills, tackles complex behaviors, and prepares individuals for greater well-being and independence.

Texas ABA Centers is committed to providing comprehensive ABA services to our clients. We understand the importance of convenience and flexibility, so we offer in-home ABA therapy in Austin, Dallas, and Houston in addition to our center-based services.

As we know that more than the information here is needed, we invite you to call us at (877) 771-5725 or share your contact information so our team of experts can contact you.


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