Let me think of some examples...
He has some *quirky* social skills. He had 2 friends over the other day, they have known us since his infancy and are 2 and 4. In the midst of them all playing (happily) in the sand box, he stands up and says 'o.k. boys and girls it's time to go inside and play legos' (in a strange falsetto). It was cute yes, but very scripted (he must have heard it on t.v. as he's not in school) and a strange way to communicate with peers.
He wants to play in a group and with other children, but when there does not actually *play* with them, unless it's chase.
We have just started with a homeschool co-op and ds and I 'teach' a 50 minute class. The theme is nature. I have learned that not only does he learn something the first time he hears it, he can be dancing in the corner and still know what was taught. We were doing a craft, gluing together parts of a flower. Most of the kids had unrecognizable flowers but at this age, it's not about perfection :) Ds calmly explains that he will not be making a flower but will make headphones. He turns his paper to us and has taped down a pipe cleaner in a curve and glued a leaf on each end. It was clearly headphones. Where did that even come from?
Yesterday we went to a community puppet show. there was a long banjo intro (live music) out of probably 50 kids plus their parents, whose child was standing up leaping and twirling? Yeah, mine.
He is super rigid about some things. I can't play legos with him because everything must be realistic. He built an airlplane but needed help with stairs. I threw some stairs together, but the were not the right scale (too large) for duplo ppl. That ruined his plane, b/c now nobody could ever use it. THere was a melt down.
He wants ppl to play pretend with him but you *must* do it his way. However he has elaborate rules that noone else can figure out. Like which animals can speak, and that his name (whether he's a pirate, a baker or an astronaut) is always always Ziya.
He is super...nonconfrontational. We have a friend who parents her kids by letting them work things out for themselves. We can't play together anymore. Last time her ds was hitting my ds with a stick, she was like 'it's o.k. Z will hit him back and then ds will learn his lesson'. What ppl don't realize is that my ds will not pick up a stick and hit back. He will be deeply and emotionally effected for days that his friend hit him over and over with a stick.
Here's the thing: I love that he does this. I don't want to change him. At the same time, I have a 22 year old bro who was a precocious and fun little kid too, and never had help learning how to normalize his behavior (when necessary) and he's awkward and (to most ppl) *odd*. That's so harsh to say, he's also kind and passionate but...he needs/needed help and didn't ever get it. I truly doubt he even has the life skills to live on his own. I don't want this for ds.
We also have huge melt downs and occasionaly shocking and intense fits and they are all around his rigidity. But not b/c we push back, b/c he can't make us understand. I don't know if that makes sense. This year we've probably had less then 10 real 'fits' ( I don't know what else to call them, they are differant then him being dissapointed and whining) but they are always out of control and scares the hell out of him.
We did nearly 6 months of speech therapy and OT earlier this year, and that def helped some behavior issues and helped him to physically keep up with peers. I know there's more, but my fingers are tired :) Over a year ago we started the eval process at the Marcus Autism Institute, but before our final big eval our insurance changed and we didn't have the cash available to complete the process. So we've been going back and forth for some time. Speech and OT helped with a lot of sensory issues so that was wonderful, we also used the Babies Can't Wait Program though we kinda fell through the cracks. His case manager flat out told us ds wouldn't qualify for the pre-k/3 year old program b/c he was too intellectually advanced, and we did the whole eval, and he was right. Ds was able to make it to some of the first grade concepts, but he has a mind that does not forget ANYTHING. This does not mean that there aren't other things at play.
*this is the never ending post :) I just wanted to add some other things.
OT helped with the toe walking, but he still flaps. Speech helped with extreme texture aversions, and taught him to chew. Now he can sometimes have something, like grated cheese with his pasta. However, he won't eat things that are green or brown (there are some other rules, regarding temperature, etc). He can only use his one particular pillow. If dh accidentally leans on it then he freaks b/c daddy has make it 'hot' and it must be 'cool' for sleeping. He potty trained completely around 2 b/c he couldn't handle wearing clothes, cloth diapers were torture. He still rarely dresses and will turn down going places (sometimes) if he has to dress.