Autism is diagnosed in around 1% of Europe's children.

It occurs in boys 4 times more often than in girls.

Autism is not a disease but a development disorder.

This means that the brain works in a non-standard way in this case.

The number of people diagnosed with a diagnosis increases every year.

This does not mean that there are more and more cases, but rather that the methods of diagnosis are more and more accurate. Previously, these disorders were often diagnosed as intellectual disability.

Autism may look different for each individual case, and is diagnosed on the basis of behaviors and characteristics in three areas:

The autism triad:
  • Social interactions

  • Communication

  • Repetitive, stereotypical behavior

Symptoms of autism

Social interaction disorders:

  • the child does not follow the indicated objects with his / her eyes

  • doesn't notice people

  • it does not react and is unaware of their presence

  • does not point a finger to show that they are interested in something

  • has difficulty in contact

  • does not engage in games

  • it is not interested in making friends

  • does not have the ability to play "pretend"

  • can't imitate

  • has difficulty understanding feelings

  • cannot talk about feelings

  • cannot share

Disorders communication:

  • the child avoids eye contact

  • has delayed speech development

  • cannot communicate needs or desires

  • his facial expressions do not match what he was saying

  • does not have the ability to read facial expressions

  • repeats an unusual tone of voice, e.g. pronounces each sentence like a question

  • repeats a question instead of answering it

  • his statements are inadequate to the situation

  • takes the statements verbatim

  • he does not understand the sense of humor and irony

Stiffened Behaviors:

  • attachment to routine

  • difficulties with adapting to changes

  • unusual attachment to objects

  • interest in a narrow field of knowledge

  • spending a lot of time arranging toys in a specific way,

  • observe moving objects (e.g. washing machine)

  • focusing on one part of an object (e.g. a bicycle wheel)

  • multiple repetition of movements

  • self-stimulation, such as spinning on its own axis

Sensory disorders and difficulties are characteristic of austism

  • reluctance to cuddle or touch

  • searching for sensual impressions

  • staring at the light

  • covering the ears due to certain sounds

  • strong reactions in response to gentle stimuli

  • problems with making certain movements

  • feeling out of control over the body

People on the autism spectrum may experience common stimuli as being low or too intense.

Early diagnosis is of great importance. There is then a chance to properly support development.

Behaviors before the age of 3 that may indicate an autism spectrum include:

  • 6 months - the child does not smile and does not show joyful expression

  • 9 months - does not reciprocate smiles, facial expressions, does not react to sounds made by the parent

  • 12 months - does not react to the name,

  • 14 months - does not use an adequate gesture, e.g. pointing a finger, "bye" gesture

  • 16 months - no words or only a few words

  • 18 months - no make-believe play (e.g., feeding a doll)

  • 24 months - the child does not spontaneously use sentences consisting of 2 words in a meaningful way

The diagnosis consists of a long, thorough interview and observations conducted by a psychologist, psychiatrist, pedagogue and speech therapist.

Autism, atypical autism and Asperger's Syndrome are the most frequently diagnosed ones on the autism spectrum.

Autism spectrum disorders do not pass with age.

Scientists are still researching the causes of autism spectrum disorders.

There is no single cause that causes autism.

The following may be important in the occurrence of autism:

  • genetics

  • higher age of parents

  • viral infections during pregnancy

  • prematurity

  • multiple pregnancies


The site explores you can perform a test to check whether the child is developing properly and adequately to age. This test is not a diagnosis. If, on the other hand, you are worried about something about your child's behavior, contact a specialist who will decide whether tests are needed.

If you need more information, see polskiautyzm or synapsis.