What Are the Signs of Autism?
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a wide-spectrum disorder that isn’t very easy to detect. It is estimated that 1 in 100 people in Australia have ASD and the condition is much more common in males than females. It is also believed that autism is greatly genetic and have shown a 25x increase over the last 30 years (although this high increase might be greatly due to the fact that medical experts are just beginning to understand the extent of the disorder).
The biggest reason for autism to be so challenging to detect is because ASD children can show a number of symptoms that can range from virtually unnoticeable in children to extremely noticeable. Autism can be present in highly intelligent children to children with low intelligence levels and the characteristics of the condition can be very different for each and every ASD child.
What are the signs of autism?
No two children with autism will show the exact same symptoms or will react the same way but children with ASD mostly show the following characteristics;
Autistic children often find it challenging to communicate with others because they are not aware or don’t always understand many elements used in communication such as facial expressions and body language, you can learn more about the different communication problems of Autism over at Think Organise Do – learning platform. Speech delays and speech developmental problems also make it hard for autistic children to communicate effectively and it is also very challenging for them to express their own emotions when they don’t understand how to connect specific body language and expressions to these feelings.
A difficulty with social interaction
ASD children find it hard to interact socially. Communication and speech problems are some of the biggest reasons for failing to interact socially but these children also fail because they often are not aware of other people’s emotions, have a different reasoning towards a specific subject, see things differently or often behave inappropriately.
Poor eye contact
A lack of eye contact is very common in ASD children although many can overcome this characteristic by simply learning that eye contact is important.
Most ASD children prefer a strict routine for daily tasks such as preparing for bed but they can also show repetitive movements. Some children will repeat the same actions over and over again and tend to prefer specific actions (jumping, spinning, hammering, ect) over and over again and might repeat these actions in specific areas and even at specific times.
ASD children tend to obsess about a number of things or about something specific. Obsessive interests can include anything such as stairs, horses, dogs, colours, textures, specific people and more.
Autistic children can be verbal or can struggle tremendously and can even be completely non-verbal.
These children show sensitivities to changes in sound, noises, light, and smells. In most sensitivities, autistic children are sensitive because the sensations are unexpected and not because they are experiencing sensations. If they are prepared for a sudden change like loud noises, they can be very accepting towards sensations that would normally trigger a breakdown.
Breakdowns are common in autistic children and can be triggered by a number of things. Breakdowns can even result in violent behaviors or actions.
Plenty of autistic children have a tendency to harm themselves, especially when they are engaged in repetitive behaviors such as slamming against the seat.
Symptoms of autism can be overcome
Autism is a disorder that cannot be cured but ASD sufferers can learn to overcome some of these differences or challenges. For example; speech delays could be overcome, children can be taught to focus on and recognise emotions and they can be taught to show the right body language.
The most important thing to realise when you are looking out for autism symptoms is that professional medical diagnosis is required. One cannot simply assume a child has autism or doesn’t have autism. The disorder is just too wide and specialised assistance is needed for diagnosis as well as for applying the right treatments.