Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees.
Autism is characterized by persistent differences in communication, interpersonal relationships, and social interaction across different environments.This can look like: being nonverbal or having atypical speech patterns, having trouble understanding nonverbal communication, difficulty making and keeping friends, difficulty maintaining typical back-and-forth conversational style.
Another feature of Autism includes restricted and repetitive behavior, patterns, activities and interests. This can look like: repeating sounds or phrases (echolalia), repetitive movements, preference for sameness and difficulty with transition or routine, rigid or highly restricted and intense interests, extreme sensitivity to or significantly lower sensitivity to various sensory stimuli.