A silhouette of a person's face with an image of a brain made of multi-colored puzzle pieces laid on top.  The background is multi-colored puzzle pieces as well.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability which causes some people's brains to work a tad bit differently. Many people have Autism, but it may appear in different ways for different people. What that means is that Autism has a spectrum. Everyone with Autism does not look or act the same. They’re all individuals with a range of unique differences.  

Some people with Autism communicate differently and struggle with interactions. Due to problems with communicating and interacting, someone with Autism may use pictures or American Sign Language to communicate.  

In some cases, people with Autism may have sensory processing issues as well. What that means is that certain noises or the way materials feel can be uncomfortable for them. An example would be the feeling of a shirt or the texture of certain foods making someone feel sick.

Another symptom that someone may have is repetitive behavior. This can be seen or done in many ways.  Someone may arrange or play with their toys the exact same way every time. Another friend with Autism may like to repeat the same words or phrases. While someone else may like to focus on very specific interests.

People with Autism can be very gifted as well, they may learn how to read early, have great memory, attention to detail, or be able to focus very well. These skills are the foundation of many successful people and artists as well. 


These articles are written by library staff using library resources such as books, eBooks, and databases. Information can vary from book to book and database to database. Tickle Your Brain is meant to be a jumping off point for starting conversations about new topics of learning. It is not to be used as an authoritative resource.

The autism infinity symbol colored in a childlike manner.  The symbol is rainbow colored, shifting colors from left to right.
An artist's rendering of puzzle pieces inside a silhouette of a head, with a cloudy sky in the background.
Did You Know?
  • The word “autism” is derived from the Greek word “autos” which means self.  The literal meaning of Autism is “alone.” 
  • According to Oregon Health and Science University, girls are often underdiagnosed for Autism. 
  • The rainbow-colored infinity symbol is a popular symbol among autistic people and autism rights advocates, symbolising a broad and varied spectrum of experiences.