Social Communication And Interaction Skills
Social communication and interaction skills can be challenging for people with ASD.
Examples of social communication and social interaction characteristics related to ASD can include:
- Avoids or does not keep eye contact
- Does not respond to name by 9 months of age
- Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age
- Does not play simple interactive games like pat-a-cake by 12 months of age
- Uses few or no gestures by 12 months of age
- Does not share interests with others
- Does not point or look at what you point to by 18 months of age
- Does not notice when others are hurt or sad by 24 months of age
- Does not pretend in play
- Shows little interest in peers
- Has trouble understanding other peoples feelings or talking about own feelings at 36 months of age or older
- Does not play games with turn taking by 60 months of age
Reduced Emotion In Facial Expressions
Facial expressions are a nonverbal way to communicate thoughts and feelings.
Research on emotional expression in autistic infants is limited, but in studies involving school-age children, researchers have found that autistic children display less emotion through facial expressions than children with nonautistic development.
That doesnt necessarily mean autistic children are feeling less emotion, just that less of it shows on their faces when they do.
Social Communication And Interaction Symptoms
Autistic children and adults often have difficulty connecting with others.
This can result in a range of symptoms, such as:
- inability to look at or listen to people
- no response to their name
- resistance to touching
believe that women and girls are more likely to camouflage or hide their symptoms. This is particularly common among females at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum.
Common forms of camouflaging include:
- forcing yourself to make eye contact during conversations
- preparing jokes or phrases ahead of time to use in conversation
- mimicking the social behavior of others
- imitating expressions and gestures
While both autistic males and autistic females can camouflage their symptoms, it appears to be more common in women and girls. This could explain why theyre less likely to be diagnosed as autistic.
Its important to note that studies looking at differences between autism in women and men have been very small or flawed. Experts still dont have any definitive information about these differences, including whether theyre real or just a result of camouflaging.
Still, one of the done on the subject suggests that, compared to men, autistic women have:
- more social difficulties and trouble interacting
- less of an ability to adapt
- less of a tendency to become hyper-focused on a subject or activity
- more emotional problems
- more cognitive and language problems
- more problem behaviors, such as acting out and becoming aggressive
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Restricted Or Repetitive Behaviors Or Interests
People with ASD have behaviors or interests that can seem unusual. These behaviors or interests set ASD apart from conditions defined by only problems with social communication and interaction.
Examples of restricted or repetitive interests and behaviors related to ASD can include:
- Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed
- Repeats words or phrases over and over
- Plays with toys the same way every time
- Is focused on parts of objects
- Gets upset by minor changes
- Has obsessive interests
- Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
- Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
Delayed Language Or Speech
Research shows that young autistic children often say and understand fewer words than children with nonautistic development at 12 months. If a child isnt saying single words by 16 months or isnt using two-word phrases by age 2, its a good idea to talk with a pediatrician.
The says language development could be uneven, with exceptional language development in some areas and impairment in other areas.
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Is There A Test For Autism In Women
Theres no medical test that can diagnose autism. It can be a difficult process that often requires visiting several types of doctors.
If you believe your child could be on the autism spectrum, make an appointment with their doctor. Depending on your childs symptoms, their doctor may refer them to a child psychologist or pediatric neurologist.
If you suspect that you may have undiagnosed autism, start by talking to your primary care doctor. A psychologist can also help you evaluate your symptoms and rule out other potential causes. Learn more about the process of working with a doctor to get an autism diagnosis.
Autism can be very hard to diagnose in adults. You may need to visit a few doctors before you find one who understands your symptoms and concerns.
If possible, try to ask close family members about any potential signs or symptoms you might have displayed as a child. This can help to give your doctor a better idea of your childhood development.
Throughout the process, remember that you are your most important advocate. If you feel your doctor isnt taking your concerns seriously, speak up or get a second opinion. Seeking a second opinion is common, and you shouldnt feel uncomfortable doing so.
Early Signs Of Autism In Boys
Autism is seen more prevalently in boys than in girls. Therefore, the core symptoms mostly coincide with the symptoms we have mentioned to be seen in children with autism in all ages.
Here are some of the early symptoms in autistic boys:
- Doesnt make eye contact
- Has repetitive behaviors
- Doesnt like physical contact
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Who Is This Child Autism Quiz For
Answer the quiz questions below to see if your child could have autism.
Below is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder . Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often your child has experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.
Please be aware that some behaviors are developmentally appropriate for your young child and are not signs of autism.
Early Signs Of Autism In A 2 Year Old
If you feel like your 2-year-old doesnt seem to be catching up with their development milestones, you may start looking for certain signs of autism spectrum disorder for any delays.Mild symptoms can be mistaken for being shy or the terrible twos.
Here are some red flags that may indicate ASD:
- Doesnt speak more than 15 words,
- Cant walk ,
- Doesnt know functions of household items like fork,
- Doesnt imitate parents actions or words,
- Doesnt use items for their own purposes,
- Doesnt follow simple instructions
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Accept Them For Who They Are
Regardless of the message many parents of autistic teens get from the people and organizations around them, there is nothing wrong with your teen. They dont need to be fixed.
Instead, make your teen feel loved. Include them in all your family events. Get involved in their favorite activities.
Respect their boundaries, whether by letting them have their own friends and hobbies or by giving them privacy when they ask for it.
Signs Of Asperger Syndrome
People with Asperger syndrome are generally considered to be on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum. It is still a form of autism and is a lifelong condition.
Signs and symptoms that are typical of people with Asperger syndrome include:
- Very narrow and highly focused interests
- Great importance on rules and routines
- High standard of language skills, potentially very formal in expression
- Monotonous or repetitive speech
- Making the same noise repeatedly
These behaviors provide the person with a form of sensory input that the person finds appealing or helpful. There are various reasons why someone could be engaging in self-stimulatory behavior:
- They find it enjoyable
- It provides something to focus on, thereby reducing the effects of other, nearby stimuli
- It is soothing and helps with anxiety
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The Secret Lives Of Girls With High Functioning Autism
Hannah tells us what it can be like to have a disorder thats often hidden in plain sight
Girls with autism are hidden almost as much as we hide our disorder. When such a key part of our identities is resented and relentlessly misunderstood, showing a true reflection of ourselves is often totally out of the question. Many with high functioning autism have the ability to express themselves, but lack the amplification to be heard. We want to identify with the experiences of others, and to be able to resonate with other people in a way that enables us to feel less lost and lonely. Our need for representation is vital.
Many with high functioning autism have the ability to express themselves, but lack the amplification to be heard.
We are in danger of adhering to a perspective that largely erases us, and attaches the viewpoint of such a complex disorder to only that of a stereotypical male protagonist.
While I slightly envy those who fit the mould, I dont want to become anyone else I just want to continue learning to manage my methods of doing things in a way that suits me best, while being accepted for being who I am.
After mastering the art of hiding our autism, us autistic girls might appear no different to anyone else in class or at work, but this superficial mask can only go so far, and used persistently, can be utterly draining.
Do you relate to Hannahs experience? Let us know in the comments.
Be Consistent And Supportive
Autism doesnt go away or get better. It represents your teens:
Its crucial to be there for your teen as they experience not only the typical struggles of being a teen but also the added pressure to conform to neurotypical standards.
Consistency in maintaining a positive, accepting environment can be an enormous influence on the direction of their lives well past the teen years.
Helping your teen learn certain life skills or behaviors they may have difficulty mastering can also be a form of support. To build skills in these areas, you can:
- See a psychologist or psychiatrist who can help your teen work through personal challenges. They can also prescribe medications for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder , or other conditions that may affect your teens sense of personal fulfillment or be perceived as disruptive.
- See a speech pathologist to help with any communication challenges, or do speech therapy.
- See a behavioral specialist to help with routines, activities, or habits that may be disruptive to activities your teen wants to do.
- See a dietitian who may be able to help optimize your teens diet or supplement intake to reduce their experience of challenging behaviors or emotions.
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Signs Of Autism In Young Children
Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are usually clear by two or three years old. The range of behaviors and skills covered here may become apparent between two years old and five years old.
Some signs that a child has autism spectrum disorder may include:
- Not expressing emotion or only a limited range of emotions
- Difficulty interpreting different emotions in others
- Not seeming attached to parents
- Lacking interest in playing social games or the company of other children
- Interest in playing with one particular toy or object
- Echolalia, repeating other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s words or phrases
- Repeating own words over and over
- Using formal language and expressions, rather than the slang of their peers
- Not developing language skills at all
- Difficulty toilet training
- Challenging behaviour, such as banging head on wall or picking at skin
- Engages in behavior such as flapping hands, rocking or twirling
Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty interpreting what other people are thinking and feeling, and often miss social cues. A child with autism may not be able to tell the difference between an adult who says Ã¢â¬Åcome hereÃ¢â¬ï¿½ while happy and smiling, and an adult who says Ã¢â¬Åcome hereÃ¢â¬ï¿½ while angry and frowning. This can be confusing and creates the impression the child is not connecting with people.
How To Find Out If You’re Autistic
This article was co-authored by Hilya Tehrani, PsyD. Dr. Hilya Tehrani is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over twenty years of experience. She specializes in working with children and adolescents. Dr. Tehrani also has expertise in supporting individuals with autism, ADHD, anxiety, behavioral challenges, and learning and processing differences. She holds a BA in Psychology from The University of California, Los Angeles, an MA in Clinical Psychology from California State University, Northridge, and a PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. This article has been viewed 4,196 times.
Perhaps youve never felt like a typical person, or maybe youre a self-diagnosed autistic who wants to know if theyre autistic for sure. This article will help you determine if youre autistic, neurotypical, or neurodivergent in a different way.
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Speech And Language Difficulties May Present As Early Signs Of Autism
Children with ASD may have a hard time speaking and communicating at the expected level for their age.
Even during infancy, you might notice that your child does not babble or coo in response when you talk and attempt to interact. By their first birthday, most toddlers can speak a word or two, but autism symptoms in children often include delayed speech.
Sometimes, children with ASD babble and coo in the first few months of life, and then cease to communicate altogether. In these cases, all forms of verbal communication and normal language development and experimentation with speech abruptly stop. This can be disconcerting for parents and is often a sign of autism in young children and an indicator that its time to investigate further by seeking professional help.
Even in cases where autistic children do speak and demonstrate pretty typical signs of normal language development, they often repeat unrelated words and phrases over and over and, in essence, speaking without really communicating or conveying a feeling, thought or desire.
Early intervention is key to helping autistic children learn to communicate, whether it is through spoken language, or in more extreme cases, through sign language or even an alternative augmentative communication device.
Autism In Women And Girls
Rates of autism prevalence suggest that boys are, on average, 4 times more likely to have autism than girls.
But this figure may hide the true incidence of autism in girls and women, with some estimates ranging from 7:1 to as low as 2:1 .Parents with daughters on the spectrum will often share frustrating tales of how difficult it was to get a proper diagnosis for their daughters, while many autistic women did not receive diagnoses until adulthood.
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The Cost Of A Missed Diagnosis
Dr. Epstein says undiagnosed autistic girls end up wondering whats wrong with them, which can lead to depression, anxiety and loss of self-esteem. They work so hard to fit in that it wears them out. Thats the thing about imitating, she says. You dont necessarily get it so youre just trying to do what people do. If youre just trying to mimic and you dont really understand, it makes it pretty rough.
Dr. Nash says less severe autism in girls is often first flagged because of these social issues, or the depression they generate. In people we call mildly autistic, there are adolescent social problems or theyre seeming hyperfocused on a topic and not participating in school to their potential or abilities, she says. Depression can be more common among high-functioning kids on the spectrum. So theyll come in for something like depression or poor school performance. Then it becomes more clear to me that they have a restricted interest and social communication issues.
Another cost of being overlooked is missing out on early support for skill-building. We talk about early intervention, Dr. Epstein says. When the girls are identified late, theyve missed out on a lot of social interventions that are much harder later. Thats the danger for anybody who gets a late diagnosis.
Early Signs Of Autism In A 5 Year Old
Once your toddler grows up, certain signs can be missed or confused with signs of growing up. You may want to consult your childs doctor if you see the following signs, which may mean your child has a developmental delay:
- Shows extreme behaviors like unusually aggressive, shy, or sad
- Doesnt show a wide range of emotions
- Usually isnt active
- Has trouble focusing on one activity for extended periods of time
- Doesnt respond to people
- Cant understand the difference between real and make-believe
- Doesnt play with peers
- Doesnt use grammar correctly
- Doesnt talk about daily activities
- Loses skills they once had
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Why Do Some Young People Get A Late Diagnosis
It is common for a young person to get a late diagnosis if they are high functioning or academically able. This also occurs more in girls than in boys, as girls are generally more adept at copying neuro-typical behaviours, including verbal and non-verbal communication in order to mask their autism.
Late diagnosis can happen because there is some ambiguity which makes it difficult to be sure a young person has autism, or because other conditions have presented as being their primary need e.g. challenging behaviour or ADHD. Typically, children are also often able to cope in a primary school environment but find the increasing demand of secondary school very stressful, leading to their difficulties becoming more apparent.
Development Of Repetitive Or Restrictive Habits
Repetitive habits are another sign of high-functioning autism. Those habits could interfere with the persons ability to do what they need to do or what others want them to do. One type of repetitive habit might be related to movement. The individual might have to tie and untie their shoes multiple times before they are satisfied and are able to start walking or leave the house. Some people develop restrictive habits that interfere with socially accepted living. For example, an individual might refuse to wear any other kind of shirt than a tee shirt. This could impact their health and well-being if they live in a place with cold weather.
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