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Oregon Chapter

Autism Support

Autism Society Support Groups in Oregon


Oregon has one of the highest rates of autism in the U.S. If you haven't already, you will meet someone with autism. People with autism want to lead fulfilling lives and make a meaningful contribution to society. Together, we can make that happen.

For Information and Resources Call
888 - Autism - 1
888 - 288 - 4761

Characteristics of Autism

The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is based on the individual's symptoms, characteristics, or behaviors. The more traits a person exhibits that are characteristic of autism, the more likely the individual is to be classified as having autism. There is no one defining feature or symptom of autism; however, most have some type of social-communication difference. 

The Autism Spectrum

There are a few characteristics associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder that may be noticeable as early as 18 months of age. These include:

  • Not following the gaze of others towards objects and events of interest
  • Not pointing to direct others to look at something
  • Not doing a variety of imaginative pretend play

Below is a list of behaviors that are commonly associated with autism. Again, one does not need to exhibit all of these behaviors in order to be considered "autistic."

  • No, little, delayed or unusual speech; sometimes repetitive speech
  • Anti-social, asocial, or social but awkward
  • Normal behavior and then changed sometime between 1 and 2 years of age (often referred to as "regressive autism")
  • Insistence on sameness (similar to obsessive-compulsive behavior)
  • No or little social eye contact
  • Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand-flapping, rocking)
  • Little or no interest in same age children
  • Using objects or his/her body in unusual ways
  • Suspected deaf (unresponsive to some, but not all, sounds)
  • Under-reactive or over-reactive to certain sensory stimuli, such as sounds, touch, smells, and tastes
  • Does not use facial expressions appropriately
  • Excessive and/or severe tantruming
  • Aggressive towards others and/or self-aggressive
  • Picky eater
  • Sleeps very little

The Autism Research Institute in San Diego (4182 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116) distributes a diagnostic checklist, the E-2 checklist, and will score the checklist for no charge.