AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Common Characteristics in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders


  • Language is significantly delayed
  • Some do not develop spoken language
  • Experience difficulty with both expressive and receptive language
  • Difficulty initiating or sustaining conversations
  • Robotic, formal speech
  • Repetitive use of language
  • Difficulty with the pragmatic use of language



  • Difficulty developing peer relationships
  • Difficulty with give and take of social interactions
  • Lack of spontaneous sharing of enjoyment
  • Impairments in use and understanding of body language to regulate social interaction
  • May not be motivated by social reciprocity or shared give-and-take


Restrictive/Repetitive Behavior:

  • Preoccupations atypical in intensity or focus
  • Inflexibility related to routines and rituals
  • Stereotyped movements
  • Preoccupations with parts of objects
  • Impairments in symbolic play


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