Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Checklist

This checklist is designed as a measure of disorder symptomatology. It must be interpreted in the context of individual client circumstances and as such should be used only in combination with a comprehensive medical and clinical assessment. It is NOT a stand-alone diagnostic tool.

ASD is characterised by symptoms from the following categories:

A) Social and Communication Deficits

  • Problems understanding and responding to emotions in social settings (e.g. unusual social interactions, reduced sharing of emotional experiences, failure to initiate or respond to social interactions).

  • Difficulties with nonverbal communication in social situations (e.g. unusual body language when communicating, abnormal eye contact patterns, poor understanding of nonverbal behaviour).

  • Problems developing, maintaining and understanding relationships (e.g. difficulties adjusting behaviour in different social settings, lack of interest in or understanding of peers and social play activities).

B) Restricted, Repetitive Behaviours

  • Stereotyped or repetitive behaviours (e.g. lining up toys, repeating irrelevant words and phrases, repetitive actions such as tapping feet).

  • Inflexible demands for sameness in one’s environment and schedule (e.g. extreme distress at small changes, rigid thought patterns).

  • Highly restricted, fixated interests that are unusually intense or focused (e.g. extreme obsessions with unusual objects, games or films).

  • Unusually sensitivity or insensitivity to sensory input or unusual interest in touching and feeling certain aspects of the environment (e.g. excessive smelling or touching of objects and surfaces).

If a child has experienced all symptoms from category A and at least 2 symptoms from category B during their early developmental period and beyond, they may meet criteria for an ASD diagnosis.

In this case, it is recommended that they be referred to a psychologist for a more comprehensive assessment. To book an appointment with a psychologist, contact Strategic Psychology on (02) 6262 6157 or email


Reference: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.