The signs and symptoms of autism vary according to the individual. However children with autism spectrum conditions have problems in the following areas:
- Problems with social interaction. This includes non-verbal communication behaviour such as eye contact impairments, abnormal development of peer relationships, a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, and a lack of emotional or social reciprocity.
- Impairments in communication. This includes marked impairments in the development of language and conversation skills, repetitive use of certain words/ phrases and a lack of interest in imaginative play.
- Repetitive and restricted behaviour. This includes an abnormally intense preoccupation with a particular subject or activity, very rigid routines or rituals, repetitive movements (such as hand flapping) and a persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.