top of page

Autism, formally known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People are diagnosed with autism when they meet these criteria: difficulty with social communication, difficulty with interactions, and restrictive or repetitive behaviors or interests. Some other characteristics of autism may include delayed language, delayed learning, unusual eating or sleeping patterns, gastrointestinal issues, or anxiety. Not everyone with autism experiences the same characteristics.

What is Autism?

Daycare Center

Social Communication & Interaction Skills

  • Avoids eye-contact

  • Does not respond to name by 9 months old

  • Does not show emotions in facial expressions (like happy, angry, surprised, etc.)

  • Does not play social games like pat-a-cake by 12 months old

  • Does not seem to notice when others are hurt or upset by 24 months old

  • Does not seem to notice other children or join them in play by 36 months old

Restricted or Repetitive Behaviors

  • Lines up toys or items

  • Gets upset when play sequences are changed

  • Repeats words or phrases over and over

  • Plays with toys in the same, or a particular way over time

  • Becomes focused on certain parts of toys, such as wheels on a toy car

  • Has obsessive interests

  • Gets upset by minor changes or must follow certain routines

  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in a circle

  • Has atypical reactions to how things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

First Steps to a Diagnosis

If you notice that your child is engaging in some of the behaviors listed above, or you suspect that they may have ASD, please reach out to your child's primary care physician to get a medical evaluation completed. 

A diagnosis can help your child access medically necessary intervention, such as ABA therapy.

For more information about autism visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at

bottom of page