Signs So Easily Missed Or Dismissed©!!!

The "Official Signs"... And The "Unofficial Signs"

Learn To Recognize Them Early On!

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The following are signs, symptoms, diagnostic criteria generally used for autism. 

The following are things, I, as a parent, now see, looking back, were signs of autism manifesting itself in my son.  You won't find all these in research papers... but, you will find all of them to be "common issues" in parent discussion groups.   Doctors won't tell you or even know these are all "signs" of autism, but parents of autistic children worldwide recognize these for what they are.  

Signs So Easily Missed Or Dismissed©!!!

The "Official Signs"... And The "Unofficial Signs"...  Learn To Recognize Them Early On!

The following are signs, symptoms, diagnostic criteria generally used for autism: 

The following are things, I, as a parent, now see, looking back, were signs of autism manifesting itself in my son.  You won't find all these in research papers... but, you will find all of them to be "common issues" in parent discussion groups.   Doctors won't tell you or even know these are all "signs" of autism, but parents of autistic children worldwide recognize these for what they are.  

Signs So Easily Missed Or Dismissed©!!!

Partiality - the inability to deal with the "in between" situation in anything.   The inability to properly process the "partial" and separate the partial from the whole!    The autistic child needs to understand the "parts" before he can understand "the whole"... in almost everything.  This is what I believe to be at the root of almost all problems we see in autistic children.   The "parts" are all incoming sensory input.  

Aggression -  autistic children appear more aggressive than normal.


Arching of back when someone tries to pick them up.


Attachment to persons and/or "normal" childhood things (i.e., stuffed animal, blanket) is not there.   Child is more attached to specific, favorite, often unusual items and can play with them for hours.


Attention/Focus (this one goes both ways... child has amazing focus for specific things, yet none at all for others)


Biting/Gnawing (more objects than other people... although many bite themselves also)


Chronic ear aches- many many children with autism had chronic ear infections under the age of 2, resulting in the use of antibiotics which, unfortunately, just make things worse by killing not only what caused the ear infection but also the healthy bacteria in the digestive tract... bacteria that is needed to keep yeast in check.


Constant running back and forth or jumping (to get sensory stimulation via feet).


Constipation - sign of a problem processing foods properly (most children, however, exhibit the opposite - diarrhea!).


Dark circles under the eyes  - sign of a food intolerance - seems to occur a lot with eating of phenols (in all fruits and vegetables - apples, bananas, red grapes, tomatoes and nuts are the highest phenol foods).


Diarrhea -  sign of a food intolerance and an unhealthy digestive tract.  Autistic children can have massive bouts of diarrhea when they eat a food they can not tolerate or properly digest (such as casein, gluten).  As the child is put on a casein and gluten free diet, diarrhea usually disappears.   It comes back again as yeast die off (as parents learn to kill the yeast and add back the healthy bacteria in the intestine).   When yeast dies, this is manifested as diarrhea (lasting up to 10 or 12 days, but in this case, diarrhea is a GOOD thing since the yeast is dying).   Yeast begins to grow back in a matter of hours when fed those things "it likes"... so, it is a constant battle to keep it in check.  


Does not respond to his/her name... even if called dozens of times - yet, hearing loss has been ruled out and parents know their child can hear "other things".


Echolalia - repetition of words.   I call this "ordering language"... again, read my first book on my website and you'll see why!


Epilepsy:  Signs of epilepsy are quite varied and include blank stares, changes in emotion (fear, aggression, anger, etc.), changes in all forms of sensory perception (changes in hearing, seeing, touch, smell, taste), purposeless behavior, unusual behaviors, gastrointestinal disorders, sleep disorders, and much more.  See Epilepsy Sign and Triggers for more on this issue!   I am certain that as parents read through the list of "signs of epilepsy" that they will come to recognize much of what they see in their children who have autism!   Note that much epileptic activity - especially if it involves certain parts of the frontal or temporal lobes and/or amygdale (tied to processing of emotions) would most likely NOT be captured by normal EEGs as clearly stated in the article on the "Aura Continua" by Heinz Gregor Wieser!


Extreme or unusual sensitivity to light and/or sound (i.e., child squints a lot or puts hands on ears a lot).


Fascination with captions/credits at the end of a movie (more so than with the movie itself).  Gets very upset when VCR is rewinding a movie and you see the images go "backwards" on the tv screen.


Hand flapping.  May be an attempt to release B6 from muscles… so critical in so much of what we see in autism.   See Book 3 posted in full at for more on this issue.


Hyperactivity - Autistic children are often much more hyperactive than their counterparts.   Often, they are seen as candidates for medication, however, as many many parents are finding, a diet change with appropriate supplements (i.e., calcium and magnesium) can make a huge huge difference.


Inappropriate play (i.e., flips toys over to spin wheels rather than pushing a toy car/truck).


Inappropriate use of stairs... don't use "alternate foot, alternate stair" but rather go down one step at a time, with both feet.


Lack of eye contact  (some kids have ok eye contact, but for most kids with autism, there is an inability to make or maintain eye contact... yet, a normal infant is able to do this quite well and is indeed fascinated by the human face).  Autistic children often seem to be "looking through you" rather than at you!


Lack of fever.  Many parents are finding their children show no fever (with an ear ache for example).   This may be due to the fact that the autistic child's immune system is not working properly in the first place and therefore, it is not exhibiting the "fever" that should show itself when the body is fighting off an infection.   In this case, the sign is not only missed or dismissed... it is altogether absent and so nothing is seen as "wrong" with the child... when in actuality, lack of a fever when a child has an earache, for example, could be a sign in and of itself that something is wrong!


Lack of flexibility in everything (i.e., difficulty with changes in direction, can't allow for the "in between" situation... for example, all lights must be on or off, not some on, some off, doors must be completely opened, then closed, no "in betweens", tasks must be completely finished before child can move on to the next thing... can't leave something "unfinished" no matter how small the task.


Lack of pointing with finger.  Knowing what I now understand about the role of order in the life of the autistic child, I fully understand why "finger pointing" would not come naturally.   

Lack of sensitivity to pain - "the nothing hurts" syndrome... the child can have a busted eardrum and "not feel it"... not show any pain (this was true for my own child).   Burns, falling, needles... none of these things seem to "hurt" the autistic child... a normal child has a much lower pain threshold and would have cried under "normal" circumstances.


Lack of social skills (totally ignores new person, no "hello", "goodbye"... nothing).


Leg banging , body shaking - to get sensory stimulation (i.e., while on a bed).   For these children, it provides a "calming" effect.


Limited food choices due to sensitivity to food textures.   Only eat a few foods all the time.  Usually like "crunchy" type foods or foods high in sugar (feeds the yeast and so they crave it).  Foods they like are usually the ones they should not have (dairy, pastas, breads, sugars).


Loss of language, lack of language development, use of "commands" as language but lack of conversation, and/or use of "nonsense" language.   

Low blood sugar and/or abnormal iron levels at birth.


No fear of danger - the autistic child has no concept of "what is dangerous" and, unfortunately, for too many parents, this has resulted in the death of their child.  :o(    The autistic child does not perceive vehicular traffic in the street as a danger, nor is water seen as a danger to them... the autistic child will run into traffic or go deep into water without thinking twice about it!  Because they have no fear of danger, these children also do not know HOW to "call for help" when in a dangerous situation!


Order - for many autistic kids, theirs is A World Of Order©... things need to be in their place... placed exactly so, tasks need to be completed (not partially done), etc.!


Over-eating - sign of food intolerance and craving of foods they should not have.  Usually, these are foods that contain gluten (grain protein) and casein (milk protein)... these are known to be problematic for autistic children and to create a natural opiate (hallucinogen) effect in the autistic.


Potty training is just not coming along... no desire whatsoever to be potty trained.   Some children go to age 9 and are still not fully potty trained.  


Pretend play is not there.  See my thought on this critical issue in book 2 and "updates" section on my website.   In my opinion, pretend play in the autistic can be very dangerous.


Pushing forehead along the floor (with buttock in the air).  This, in my opinion, is a sign of neurological distress.


Red cheeks - sign of a food intolerance.


Red ear/s - sign of a food intolerance (note: only one ear may be red, or part of an ear).


Refuses to look at self in mirror... Can't recognize self in mirror.


Removes band-aids or anything that "doesn't belong" on the skin normally... like a scab.  Same is true for objects... removes "stickers" from toys, appliances, etc.


Routines... appear to help children cope.   Again, I have very definite thoughts on this.   See books 2, 3 and 4 for more on this critical issue and why it may not be in the best interest of these children to “stick to routines”.


Screaming/Screeching... up to several hundred times a day.


Seizures (common at puberty in the autistic child).


Self injurious behavior (SIB) in the form of head banging, self mutilation (biting).


Sense of touch is heightened.   This can take on many forms in the autistic child.   For example, s/he may not like to have clothes on, or s/he may want specific clothes only.     Some children can't stand being hugged/touched by another person (although some are ok with this particular "sensation"),  some don't like specific textures on their hands or skin.   Sensitivity to textures is also seen with foods.


Sensory stimulation seekers - i.e., always jumping, running, or looking for vertigo effect.


Sideways glances - child looks from the sides of his eyes, usually moving his/her head as he/she is doing it.


Sniffing/Olfactory Dysfunction:   See Books 2 and 3 for why this may be a very overlooked sign of autism manifesting itself in these children.  


Staring at lights, ceiling fans, anything that spins or provides a visual "stimulation" (something that provides a trance-like stimulation for eye, much like vertigo does for the body).


Tantrums/Violent outbursts that seem to come from nowhere... child is easily provoked or upset.


The "loner syndrome" (child likes to play alone... for hours on end... no interest in socializing with other children).


The "perfect baby" or "horrible baby" syndrome (again, the extremes are what to look for here).


Toilet flushing - fascination with this activity, flushing 10 - 20 times at once is another possible sign of a problem with autism.


Waking up at night - many autistic children wake up 2 or 3 times a night (I've seen parents report children waking up to 10 times a night), often screaming and inconsolable.   This is not normal.   A child should sleep through the night without problems.  


Walking on toes.  Some believe this could be due to constipation.   See my thoughts on this issue in book 2.


Yeast infections - these are usually dismissed as simply "diaper rash".   A sure sign of a yeast infection is a red circle around the anus.   Yeast infections are a huge issue for autistic kids as yeast overtakes the intestines and kills the healthy bacteria.   Usually, should have 80% healthy bacteria, 20% yeast in a healthy child... in the autistic, these figures are reversed and often lead to a condition known as "leaky gut".   Leaky gut occurs when the yeast bores holes through the intestinal wall and allows undigested proteins to pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.   Casein (dairy protein), gluten (grain protein) and phenols (found in all fruits and vegetables) are the worse "offenders" for the autistic child.   Casein and gluten have been shown to provide a natural opiate effect (drug induced state) in the autistic child.  So, for them, "normal foods" are producing a "drug-like" high!


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DISCLAIMER - The statements here mentioned and/or found in my materials have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other government agency or person in the medical field or in behavior therapy and are not meant to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any illness/disorder and/or behavior.  This information is not intended as medical advice or to replace the care of a qualified healthcare physician or behavior therapist.  Always consult your medical doctor or behavior therapist.  All information provided by Jeanne A. Brohart on her website is for INFORMATION PURPOSES and to GENERATE DISCUSSION ONLY and should not be taken as medical advice or any other type of "advice".  Information put forth represents the EXTENSIVE RESEARCH and OPINIONS of a mother based on her experiences and research and provides information as it relates to one family's journey with autism in hopes that other families may benefit from this experience and/or research.  The creator of this site is not responsible for content on other sites.

DISCLAIMER - PART II - Now... for those of you who think "mother at home researching" means "uneducated person with unfounded information"... I have 10 years of university... 3 degrees... and over 30,000 hours of research into these areas.   For anyone who thinks my research is "unfounded"...  read the RESEARCH FILE posted on my home page... with its over 1,000 references ... for your reading pleasure... because... quite clearly... you haven't read it yet!   Breaking The Code - Putting Pieces In Place!©