Late identification of children with ASD remains a concern. Due to limited research in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as South Africa (SA), the early management of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) should be further explored. The aim was to describe the demographic characteristics and early management of ASD that may influence identification, diagnosis, and intervention of learners with ASD in SA. Participants included 234 (28.4% of total approached) caregivers of children with ASD enrolled at the only six autism-specific government-funded schools in SA. Data were collected from parent-completed questionnaires. The majority of caregivers became concerned about their child’s development on average at 25.2 months, but only a few (3.8%) thought it was ASD. Late identification was significantly associated with the respondent, nationality, qualification of the father and qualification of the mother. It appears that late identification sets a trajectory of late intervention. Factors underlying the trajectory appear to be unfamiliarity with ASD, and limited services and schools for children with ASD. Public awareness should focus on early symptoms associated with ASD risk to expedite early intervention.