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Common autism traits

autism traits checklist

Here are some common traits of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Not all autistic individuals will have all of these traits; this is a general guide.

Social Interaction

  • Difficulty with or lack of eye contact
  • Neutral / flat facial expressions
  • Unusual body posture / walking stride
  • Failure to read social cues
  • Difficulty in understanding their own feelings
  • Low / no interest in shared enjoyment – solo play
  • Low / no interest in others’ achievements
  • Low / no interest in or understanding of others’ feelings or how their actions might impact on others
  • May not be comforted by touch / may avoid being touched
  • Focused on own needs
  • As a baby, may not respond to ‘typical’ social play, eg peekaboo


  • Difficulty with both verbal and non-verbal communication (body language)
  • Delayed speech / no speech
  • Unusual speech pattern / formal speech
  • Difficulty with remaining engaged in conversations
  • Difficulty with taking turns in conversations
  • Echolalic – may repeat phrases, sounds, words
  • Difficulty with humour and innuendo
  • May be very literal


  • Focus on parts or pieces, not seeing the whole picture
  • May have intense obsessions
  • Deep need for routines and sameness
  • Stimming behaviours – rocking, flapping, spinning
  • May be hyper- or hypo- sensitive to textures (food, clothing) or temperature
  • May be hyper- or hypo- sensitive to light and sound
  • Inability to process touch – may touch too hard or not hard enough, may touch others without being aware they are doing it
  • Might have savant-like skills – maths, music, memory, etc.
  • Difficulty with understanding personal space – may stand too closely
  • May have problems going to sleep or staying asleep
  • May have problems with self-care – toileting, dressing, eating, washing
  • Difficulty with executive functioning – organising, beginning and completing tasks
  • Difficulties with transitions