A child not responding to his name can be a possible sign of autism. In this clip, the therapist uses a variety of methods to get Nathan's attention. She calls his name, says loudly "I'm going to get you" as if initiating a social game, and finally, tickles Nathan. Despite these numerous, increasingly intrusive attempts by the therapist, Nathan never acknowledges her voice or touch.
Dr. Smith discusses how failing to respond to another person's voice is one of the first symptoms that a parent may notice when a child is at risk for autism. This clip provides several examples of how typically developing children reflexively respond to their name, whereas children with autism often do not respond when someone calls their name despite numerous, varied attempts to gain their attention.
Children with ASD often do not respond to their name consistently. In this clip, the therapist evaluates Quincy's response to his name in an unstructured, stimulating environment, the play room. Once preoccupied by the toys, Quincy rarely reponds to his name though his therapist attempts to encourage this skill by instructing him to look at her and praising him for orienting to her voice.
Children at risk for autism may not consistently respond to their name or check back with their parents. Georgia, Wells' therapist, describes how she taught Wells to not only stop, but to return to his parents when they called him. She did this by breaking down the various components of this command and practicing it in different situations and with other people.
Social Communication and Social Interaction
Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history
Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.
Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.
Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.
Restricted and Repetitive Patterns of Behavior
Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history
Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypies, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).
Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns or verbal nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat food every day).
Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).
Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g., apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).