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Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

May 2019
mother talking to a baby on bed
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Signs of autism may be heard early in infancy

by  /  4 May 2019

Autistic infants as young as 4 months may have fewer verbal exchanges with their caregivers than their peers do.

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Child in magnetoencephalograph (MEG) scanner
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Brains of minimally verbal autistic children respond slowly to sound

by  /  4 May 2019

Several of the brain’s responses to sound are sluggish in autistic children who speak few or no words, compared with those who are verbal.

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Children Playing with Toy Blocks
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More than half of young autistic children have language delays

by  /  3 May 2019

Most 4-year-old autistic children cannot string more than two words together.

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Depression may skew autistic people’s results from tests

by  /  3 May 2019

Depression may influence how people with autism perform on tests of social function.

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an autistic boy in a field
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Repetitive behaviors ease with age in most autistic children

by  /  3 May 2019

Restricted and repetitive behaviors decrease significantly in about 75 percent of autistic children from age 3 to 11.

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a boy in red knocking on a wall
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Sensory sensitivity may forecast self-injury in autistic children

by  /  3 May 2019

Autistic infants who have extreme responses to sights, sounds or textures tend to harm themselves as toddlers.

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Gut woes common, but not unique, among children with autism

by  /  2 May 2019

Autistic children are more likely to have gastrointestinal problems than typical children are, but no more so than children with other brain conditions.

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Nasal spray jetting from bottle on a dark background
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Ready or not, two drugs for autism edge closer to clinic

by  /  1 May 2019

Two drugs that alter the activity of the hormone vasopressin seem to improve social communication in autistic people, but some experts question the findings.

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The female protective effect, explained

by  /  1 May 2019

One of the leading theories of autism posits that girls and women are biologically protected from the condition.

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Illustration of a strong man holding up a oversized brain
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The extreme male brain, explained

by  /  1 May 2019

The ‘extreme male brain’ theory suggests that autism is an exaggeration of systematic sex differences in ways of thinking.

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