In the broad sense, autism is a group of diseases that have some common symptoms (autism spectrum disorders). They are especially evident when a child reaches the age of one and a half or two years.
Here they are:
Speech impairment. Some autistic children do not speak at all; others lag far behind their peers in speech development. Children under 12 months of age do not walk, can make the same sounds, at 2 years they have an extremely poor vocabulary (about 15 words), by the age of 3 they are almost unable to combine words. But autistic children can repeat words and phrases heard somewhere like an echo, invent their own words (neologisms), and many do not use speech to communicate. Autists speak about themselves in the third person and do not use appeals or personal pronouns.
Lack of emotional contact with people, first of all, with parents. Babies with autism don’t look people in the eyes, don’t reach out to their parents and don’t smile. Autists often resist the parents’ attempts to take them in their arms and to caress them. By behavior such children are like deaf or blind: they do not distinguish parents from other people, they do not notice that someone is talking to them.
Problems with socialization. Being among others, a child with autism experiences severe discomfort and anxiety over the years. “Rain children” can run away and hide if someone actively addressed them. They do not know how to play with their peers, can not build friendships, as they do not understand the emotions of others, the rules of the game. Autists prefer privacy, which protects them from strong feelings about the inability to communicate.
Seizures of aggression. Any disorder, failure can cause a child to flare up anger, provoke hysteria, physical attack. Aggression in children with autism can be directed at others and themselves, the latter is recorded in 30% of patients.
Weak interest in toys. A child with autism does not know how to play with different objects, cars, dolls. Such children are usually unable to perform symbolic actions, i.e., they are unable to depict some objects with the help of other objects because of their weakly developed abstract thinking. For example, if my mother asks me to make her tea in a toy dish, the child will not interfere with the spoon in an empty cup or will not be able to replace the spoon with a stick, he can only repeat someone’s actions seen and heard. The manifestation of autism in children is also a non-standard use of toys: for example, a child does not drive a car, and spins its wheel for hours. Another option is adherence to only one toy or its part, to the same small objects.