Signs and Symptoms

The Verbal Individual With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Have You Seen This Person?

As verbal individuals with autism are frequently misdiagnosed, we’d like to take this opportunity to alert you to their display of symptoms.

May have received a diagnosis of:
  • ADD or ADHD
  • Intellectual Disability or Learning Disability
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder, Affective Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Auditory or Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyspraxia
In the early years:
  • Development of language and communication is atypical
  • Delayed speech or repetitive use of phrases
  • Shrink from social contact with peers
  • May not have pretend play with toys or imaginative play
By school age:
  • Usually talking well and can enter school
  •  May have stopped avoiding social contact and is at least tolerant of it
  • May be socially awkward and socially immature
Over the next few years:
  • “Eccentricities” dominate his social interactions
  • A “little professor” on topics of special interest to him
  • When not talking about his interests, his social interactions are immature or stilted
  • The child may interact with peers, although others may perceive him as different
As time passes and social demands increase:
  • May become anxious in social situations
  • Peers may reject him and he may become depressed
  • In school, he may be placed in learning support classes because of social, behavioral or language comprehension problems
  • He may be considered to have an attention problem or obsessive compulsive behaviors
Videos of Verbal Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Please take the time to visit the following website and view the videos of verbal individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Vincent Ho, a child psychiatrist, received an NIMH grant to visit various autism centers and film segments to make expert information more readily available to the public. This is another example of how our investigators are improving the community recognition of autism in verbal individuals. The individuals and their families appearing in the videos were willing to be a part of the production in an effort to help others learn from them and their experiences.