Children & Family


When it comes to autism, catching it early can make a huge difference. The following resources can help you better understand autism, identify the symptoms, address social and behavioral issues, and overcome challenges together.

View FAQs

Explore Autism

Autism FAQs

Am I autistic?
Even if you were undiagnosed as a child, you may notice in later life that certain symptoms are impacting your behavior or thinking, and question whether you have autism. Autism has a wide range of symptoms. In adults and adolescents, they are most prominent in your communication skills, interests, emotional and behavioral patterns, and sensory issues. While there’s no single test to diagnose autism, ask yourself if you often misread social cues, get upset if your daily routines or rituals are interrupted, or are sensitive to being touched or to certain sounds or smells. If you have a narrow focus, an in-depth knowledge of just one or two subjects that you find fascinating, that may also indicate autism. Read: Autism in Adults: Recognizing the Signs, Living with a Diagnosis.
What are autism symptoms?
A person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASM) may exhibit a wide range of symptoms that include having difficulty communicating with peers and navigating social situations. Restricted, repetitive behavior, such as lining up objects in a certain way, is another common symptom of autism. An autistic person may also have narrow interests, such as being fixated on a specific hobby, and be sensitive to certain sensory experiences, such as bright lights, loud noises, or being touched. Each autistic child or adult is different, so their specific symptoms and experiences can vary.
What are the signs of autism in adults?
Signs of autism in adults include difficulty using or reading social cues, and engaging in repetitive behaviors, such as repeating certain phrases, tapping, or fidgeting. An autistic adult may have several interests they’re passionate about and follow a strict daily routine. Adults with autism sometimes experience sensory differences, such as being sensitive to certain sounds or smells. Some of these symptoms can lead to unique challenges at work or in relationships.
Is social pragmatic communication disorder a form of autism?
Social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD) and autism are different conditions, but some of their symptoms overlap. People with SCD have difficulty with verbal and nonverbal skills. They may not know when to make eye contact or respond to others during conversation, or they may consistently misunderstand sarcasm and irony. Although some autistic people have these issues as well, autism has additional symptoms, including repetitive behavior, focused interests, and sensory processing differences. In order for someone to be diagnosed with social communication disorder, autism needs to be ruled out.
What causes autism?
A combination of various genetic and environmental factors may cause autism. Research shows that certain gene mutations may make a person more likely to have autism, and the condition tends to run in families. Environmental factors may also play a role, and they can include anything from exposure to pollutants to the age of the parents during conception. If you’re worried that your child has autism, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms and seek out a clinical diagnosis.