I Think My Child Has Autism, What Do I Do?

Child closing eyes


A developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with autism often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with autism may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.


1. Social Communication and Interaction Skills

- Social communication and interaction skills can be challenging for people with autism.

  • Avoids or does not keep eye contact Does not respond to name by 9 months of age
  • Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age
  • Does not point to show you something interesting by 18 months of age
  • Does not notice when others are hurt or upset by 24 months of age
  • Does not notice other children and join them in play by 36 months of age
  • Does not pretend to be something else, like a teacher or superhero, during play by 48 months of age

2. Restricted or Repetitive Behaviors or Interests

- People with autism have behaviors or interests that can seem unusual. These behaviors or interests set autism apart from conditions defined by problems with social communication and interaction only.


  • Lines up toys or other objects
  • Gets upset when order is changed
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (called echolalia)
  • Plays with toys the same way every time
  • Gets upset by minor changes
  • Has obsessive interests
  • Must follow certain routines
  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
  • Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

3. Other Characteristics

- Most people with autism have other related characteristics. These might include:
• Unusual mood or emotional reactions
• Delayed language skills
• Delayed movement skills
• Delayed cognitive or learning skills
• Hyperactive, impulsive, and/or inattentive behavior
• Epilepsy or seizure disorder
• Unusual eating and sleeping habits
• Gastrointestinal issues
• Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry
• Lack of fear or more fear than expected

If your child has many of the characteristics listed above, it may be helpful to get an Autism evaluation.

Irritated mother shouting at her child


Hopebridge Autism Therapy Center
5859 W Talavi Blvd Suite 180, Glendale, AZ 85306, United States
+1 602-560-2836

Axis for Autism
1645 E Missouri Ave Suite 320, Phoenix, AZ 85016, United States
+1 602-888-8882

Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center
300 N 18th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006, United States (Located in St. Luke's Medical Center)
+1 602-888-8882