The common symptoms of autism are the same for males and females, and include lack of nonverbal communication, failure to establish friendships with peers, lack of empathy and lack of sharing interests with others, states WebMD. People with autism may also have issues with verbal communication.
People with autism often develop verbal speech later than other children, and up to 40 percent of people with autism never learn to speak, explains WebMD. They may have highly stereotyped and repetitive language and have trouble starting or continuing a conversation. Autism frequently causes people with the disorder to have trouble understanding others' perspectives. This exhibits as trouble understanding humor or figures of speech, as many people with autism interpret all speech literally.
In childhood, people with autism often show an aversion to touching or being held and a lack of interest in playing games such as peek-a-boo, according to WebMD. Symptoms usually appear by three years of age when delays in communicative skills become apparent. Children may develop language skills and then lose them altogether, or they may appear to be hearing impaired because of their lack of communication. With early treatment, children with autism often improve their communication skills and lead normal lives. Contrary to stereotypes, most people with autism are not completely isolated.