Autism is among the group of developmental disorders commonly known as autistic spectrum disorders. Children with autism most likely have difficulties in pretend play, social interactions, and verbal and nonverbal communication. An autism evaluation at Tashawna K. Duncan, Ph.D., P.A. generally includes evaluating the child’s social skills, language, behaviors and motor skills, cognitive abilities, and learning abilities.

What are some signs that my child may have autism?

Social skills

  • Fails to respond to his/her name
  • Has poor eye contact
  • Appears not to hear you at times
  • Resists cuddling and holding
  • Appears unaware of others’ feelings
  • Seems to prefer playing alone
  • Does not make friends


  • Starts talking later than age 2 and has other delays by age 30 months
  • Loses previously acquired ability to say words or sentences
  • Doesn’t make eye contact when making requests
  • Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm
  • Can’t start a conversation or keep one going
  • May repeat words or phrases verbatim

Behavior and Motor Skills

  • Performs repetitive movements such as rocking or hand-flapping
  • Develops specific routines
  • Becomes disturbed and may have a tantrum at the slightest change in routines
  • Moves constantly and has a very short attention span
  • May be fascinated with part of an object
  • Gets stuck on a single topic or task
  • Has heightened or low senses

How is autism treated?

  • Behavior and communication therapies
  • Educational interventions
  • Medications
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Occupational/physical therapy