Autism is a developmental disorder/delay that is often associated with very specific characteristics. These characteristics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Progression in a developmentally typical way for the first 12-18 months of life
- An often dramatic rapid loss in skills already learned at the formerly mentioned age.
- Inability to attain new skills in the natural environment.
- Little or no interest in social interactions with parents or siblings.
- Little or no ability to communicate with spoken language.
- Strong resistance to changes in routines or schedule.
- Spending large amounts of time stimulating oneself by engaging in repetitive, inappropriate behavior (i.e., turning a light on/off, playing with fingers or toes).