An austistic disorder, or also known as "classic autism," can mean a person has limited or no speaking ability.
Signs doctors look for to make this diagnosis:
1. Impaired social interaction. This means a child doesn't seek out eye contact or look to others to share facial expressions and other gestures that demonstrate social engagement.
- a lack of spontaneous efforts to share enjoyment, such as by pointing out objects of interest or showing objects to others
- a lack of social or emotional reciprocity, that is, the ability to express an expected emotion when sharing a common experience
2. Impaired communication skills. This could be a delay in a toddler's development of spoken language or the lack of speech altogether, without a child's showing he's trying to communicate in other ways, such as using physical gestures. It also could be a child who has spoken language but can't use words to sustain a conversation with others.
- repetitive or stereotyped use of language
- the use of idiosyncratic or nonsensical language
- a lack of ability to engage in varied, spontaneous pretend play and imitative play situations appropriate for that child's developmental level
3. Restricted, repetitive behaviors and interests. An example of this may be when a child demonstrates a preoccupation with one or a few items of interest—such as a toy or set of toys—that doctors describe as unusual in its focus and intensity.
- when a person adheres to specific routines and rituals that have no practical function
- stereotyped and repetitive movements, such as flapping one's hands or fingers, or other body movements
- persistent preoccupation with parts of objects, such as the certain parts of a child's toy