Well, I didn't read anything that tells me he is autistic, but he definately has issues and needs some professional help. He may have ADHD or a defianr disorder (can't remember the specific name). He needs to be evaluated by a child psychologist but of course your friends has to see that her son has a problem first. Good Luck.
Kicking, spitting, growling and violent behavior are symptoms of mental illness...please have your child evaluated by a child psychiatrist at a mental health facility that specializes in the care and treatment of children...your child's school should be able to assist you in locating these specialized services in your community.