ASD is a heterogeneous disorder i.e. no two individuals on the spectrum will have the same set of signs and symptoms. The severity and range of symptoms are highly variable. However, the symptoms or difficulties can be classified into core domains such as difficulty in social interactions, communication deficits, behavioral issues and unusual interests and certain physical attributes. An individual may present with anyone, or a combination of or all of these difficulties/symptoms. Signs and symptoms usually become noticeable in the first three years of life. This section details the range of these signs and symptoms which are usually observed in individuals with autism.

Individuals with ASD face difficulties in communicating and expressing their feelings. They also have trouble in understanding the feelings of the people around them. As they grow up, this social deficit is further affected due to feelings of anxiety and depression. This in turn intensifies the problem with social skills, making it hard for them to adjust or adapt to their surroundings.

Examples of Social Issues related to ASD:

  • Poor or fleeting eye contact
  • Delayed or lack of response to name
  • Isolated play (the child prefers to be aloof)
  • Inability to interpret gestures or non-verbal cues
  • Difficulty in expressing feelings
  • Lack of social awareness (difficulty in understanding personal space and boundaries)
  • Sensory issues (avoids touch or seeks more physical touch for example hugging, kissing, etc.)

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