Problems Processing Physical Sensations
Many individuals with autism have sensory difficulties. They may have an intolerance to specific:
Noisy public places can lead to emotional distress, as can uncomfortable clothing or unwanted touches. These issues can be disruptive and stressful, but according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, autism symptoms can improve over time as children with mild autism learn to regulate their own behavior through work with professionals.
Many individuals on the autism spectrum can benefit from occupational therapy to manage sensory issues. An occupational therapist can create goals and strategies for the individual to work on. They might meet with the individual one day a week or a couple days, depending on the persons needs.
The Challenges Of Independence
Aspergers does not mean no challenges, confirms Lynne Soraya, who writes the Aspergers Diary for Psychology Today. I was hit by a carfor the second timewhen I was in college, at age 19. Life skills like learning how to effectively manage sensory inputs so that you can safely cross a street are still applicable for those of us deemed high functioning.
The day of the accident, Soraya says, she had gotten in an argument and was so overwhelmed by her emotions, along with the noise and crowds, that she experienced tunnel vision and didnt see the car coming until it was too late.
Add to the challenges of independence the withdrawal of the educational supports and services some of these kids have been receiving since they were as young as 2 years old those supports vanish when they age out of childrens services. They do not grow out of their autism, and they may very likely have other, accompanying problems, including anxiety and ADHD, that may make things that much harder.
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Every Autistic Person Is Different But They May Share Similar Challenges
Around one in 100 people in the UK has autism, a condition that affects the way they see, hear, feel and interact with the world around them. It can make it hard to talk to others or interpret social cues, and often causes anxiety.
Many autistic people find it hard to filter out background noise in busy environments.
Autism manifests differently in different people, and some are more affected by it than others. Just like in the wider population, some autistic people will be very loud and sociable, while others are more shy and withdrawn. Some may be unable to speak at all and prefer to communicate through gestures or symbols.
So, although all autistic people tend to face similar challenges, the ways in which they affect them and their lives can be very different.
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If Someone Is Nonverbal
- Ask the individual or their caregiver how they prefer to communicate.
- Learn what assistive devices or techniques they may use. For example, visual schedule, iPad apps, text-to-speech or other voice assistant apps in which a person touches something on their device to speak for them.
- Always look at the individual who you are trying to communicate with, not their caregiver. If you were using a translator for a person speaking a different language you would look at the person you want to communicate with, not the translator.
- Pair your verbal communication with gestures .
- If using an assistive device, give them enough time to type in their responses.
- Dont talk about them in front of them like they arent there.
- Always face them when talking to them even if they dont appear to be paying attention.
- Always communicate what you are doing even if you dont think they understand.
Social Behavior And Social Understanding
Basic social interaction can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms may include:
- Unusual or inappropriate body language, gestures, and facial expressions .
- Lack of interest in other people or in sharing interests or achievements .
- Unlikely to approach others or to pursue social interaction comes across as aloof and detached prefers to be alone.
- Difficulty understanding other peoples feelings, reactions, and nonverbal cues.
- Resistance to being touched.
- Difficulty or failure to make friends with children the same age.
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Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder
In order to determine whether your child has autism spectrum disorder or another developmental condition, clinicians look carefully at the way your child interacts with others, communicates, and behaves. Diagnosis is based on the patterns of behavior that are revealed.
If you are concerned that your child has autism spectrum disorder and developmental screening confirms the risk, ask your family doctor or pediatrician to refer you immediately to an autism specialist or team of specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. Since the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is complicated, it is essential that you meet with experts who have training and experience in this highly specialized area.
The team of specialists involved in diagnosing your child may include:
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What Are The Characteristics Of Autism In Adults
Autism is characterized by numerous traits and symptoms, varying from one person to the next. Just like no single person is exactly the same to another, no person with autism is the same. That is why autism is considered a spectrum disorder. When looking at a rainbow, there is an array, or spectrum, of colors, and each color has countless shades. This is also true of the autism spectrum. Think of the colors and shades as the particular, one-of-a-kind characteristics of each individual with autism spectrum disorder.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder face a unique set of challenges in their daily lives. The challenges can alter their perception of the world and people around them in ways that others do not always understand. Some autistic adults may exhibit symptoms that resemble attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
An autism diagnosis can cause confusion and frustration on both ends, but knowledge is power. Understanding the signs of autism and how autism spectrum disorder impacts a persons life can help both parties improve their interactions and communication. While autistic personality traits and symptoms can differ from one person with autism to another, there are some general characteristics of autism in adults.
Here are five general autistic traits in adults with autism spectrum disorder.
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Restrictive And Repetitive Behaviors
- You have trouble regulating your emotions and your responses to them.
- Changes in routines and expectations cause strong feelings that may include outbursts or meltdowns.
- When something unexpected happens, you respond with an emotional meltdown.
- You get upset when your things are moved or rearranged.
- You have rigid routines, schedules, and daily patterns that must be maintained no matter what.
- You have repetitive behaviors and rituals.
Autism Is Not An Illness
Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.
It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you’re very young.
If you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.
Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure”. But some people need support to help them with certain things.
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How Does An Autistic Person Act When They Like Someone
- Xper 3Age: 24 , mho 45% +1 y
As someone who believes she is on the high functioning side of autism, when I have a crush it is awful and fun. All these feelings just completely overwhelm me, however due to the “not getting social cues” I can#t really flirt very well, another thing, i am not very good at detecting if someone is trying to flirt with me and if they like me. So it leaves me really in a muddle, another thing is that i have a sbit of social anxiety and am too afraid to ask. Another sign he may like you, if he asks you lots of questions such as ” what would you do if…” and stuff like that, that’s what i do. Also when he does stuff to make me feel excited, i flap my hands about and squeal – not very attractive… this also goes to anyone reading this, can anybody help me out in distinguishing whether he likes me or not as well? PMing would be helpful. Sorry if this was not very helpful for you but i hope it is and i hope you now understand that people with autism may not pick on when you like them so you must try and make it crystal clear. 🙂
Behavioral Psychological And Educational Interventions
People with ASD may be referred to a health care provider who specializes in providing behavioral, psychological, educational, or skill-building interventions. These programs are typically highly structured and intensive, and they may involve caregivers, siblings, and other family members. These programs may help people with ASD:
- Learn social, communication, and language skills
- Reduce behaviors that interfere with daily functioning
- Increase or build upon strengths
- Learn life skills necessary for living independently
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Restrictive / Repetitive Behaviors May Include:
- Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual behaviors, such as repeating words or phrases
- Having a lasting intense interest in specific topics, such as numbers, details, or facts
- Showing overly focused interests, such as with moving objects or parts of objects
- Becoming upset by slight changes in a routine and having difficulty with transitions
- Being more sensitive or less sensitive than other people to sensory input, such as light, sound, clothing, or temperature
People with ASD may also experience sleep problems and irritability.
People on the autism spectrum also may have many strengths, including:
- Being able to learn things in detail and remember information for long periods of time
- Being strong visual and auditory learners
- Excelling in math, science, music, or art
Autism Includes Sensory Processing Challenges Which Impact Behavior
Posted June 5, 2011
Sensory challenges are the root cause of many of the non-typical behaviors you may see a child, teen, or adult on the spectrum exhibiting. Autism and sensory challenges can result in behaviors that are not always controllable. Most parents work very hard to help their children self-regulate, but it is a learning process for the child that takes time.
Here are some behaviors you may see and what they could mean:
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When To Seek Medical Advice
Early intervention is very important in children with autism spectrum disorder. Services such as speech therapy and behavioral and skills training are more effective if begun when a child is young.
For this reason, it is helpful to receive a diagnosis as early as possible. However, many children remain undiagnosed until they are in school. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adults.
If you suspect someone has autism, including yourself, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
Social Communication And Social Interaction Challenges
Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Some autistic people are unable to speak or have limited speech while other autistic people have very good language skills but struggle to understand sarcasm or tone of voice. Other challenges include:
- taking things literally and not understanding abstract concepts
- needing extra time to process information or answer questions
- repeating what others say to them
Autistic people often have difficulty ‘reading’ other people – recognising or understanding others’ feelings and intentions – and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard to navigate the social world. Autistic people may:
- appear to be insensitive
- seek out time alone when overloaded by other people
- not seek comfort from other people
- appear to behave ‘strangely’ or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate
- find it hard to form friendships.
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Restricted And Repetitive Behaviors
ASD includes a wide variety of characteristics. Some of these include behavioral characteristics which widely range from slow development of social and learning skills to difficulties creating connections with other people. They may develop these difficulties of creating connections due to anxiety or depression, which autistic people are more likely to experience, and as a result isolate themselves.
Other behavioral characteristics include abnormal responses to sensations including sights, sounds, touch, taste and smell, and problems keeping a consistent speech rhythm. The latter problem influences an individual’s social skills, leading to potential problems in how they are understood by communication partners. Behavioral characteristics displayed by autistic people typically influence development, language, and social competence. Behavioral characteristics of autistic people can be observed as perceptual disturbances, disturbances of development rate, relating, speech and language, and motility.
The second core symptom of autism spectrum is a pattern of restricted and repetitive behaviors, activities, and interests. In order to be diagnosed with ASD under DSM-5 or DSM-5-TR, a person must have at least two of the following behaviors:
Autistic individuals can display many forms of repetitive or restricted behavior, which the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised categorizes as follows.
Some People Use Other Names For Autism
There are other names for autism used by some people, such as:
- autism spectrum disorder the medical name for autism
- autism spectrum condition used instead of ASD by some people
- Asperger’s used by some people to describe autistic people with average or above average intelligence
Unlike some people with autism, people with Asperger’s do not have a learning disability.
Some people call this “high-functioning” autism.
Doctors do not diagnose people with Asperger’s anymore.
But if you were diagnosed with it before, this will stay as your diagnosis.
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How Can I Help A Friend With Autism
People with ASD have a very wide array of signs and symptoms. Some people with ASD do not feel that they have a disorder and don’t want to change. They’re proud of who they are and they want to be accepted, even though they may have different strengths and weaknesses than most other people.
All people deserve respect. But people with ASD may be teased, bullied, or left out because they’re different. Bullying and teasing are never the right way to treat other people, but it may be hard to be a friend with someone who has ASD.
People with ASD often don’t understand playful jokes or sarcasm. You may need to be very clear and factual when you communicate with someone who has ASD.
Try to be patient and kind. Remember how hard it might be for the person with ASD to understand how to be a friend. Stand up for classmates who are bullied. Tell adults, so they can help protect kids who are bullied.
Pointers To Help Autistic People If They Get Off Topic Or Spend Too Much Time On A Topic:
Gentle nudge or prompt to get back on topic such as, What were we talking about again? Or redirect them by bringing up the topic you were originally discussing like, Where should we go for lunch? It sounds like you love Chinese food, how about XYZ place at 11:45 am?
So to summarize, our next steps are XYZ, your part will be this and it will be due by x date. Does that seem to cover what we discussed?
In a kind yet concrete way, say, I hear you really like talking about dinosaurs, but I am not really interested in that and dont want to talk about it anymore, can we talk about something we are both interested in? Then suggest something that you have in common or could such as favorite movies or food.
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What Is High Functioning Autism
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition . This edition of the DSM had some important changes to the way autism is diagnosed. Previously, diagnoses like Aspergers Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder were used to describe individuals at the extreme ends of the autism spectrum. High-functioning autism and Aspergers are not an official medical diagnosis, but rather unofficial terms used to describe individuals who have mild symptoms of autism. Parents and providers in the field may still refer to these terms to indicate a level of support or degree of disability.
With the DSM-5, those diagnoses all fall under Autism Spectrum Disorders. Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder now include a level of severity in their diagnosis. What would have been known as high functioning autism or Aspergers is now considered ASD Level 1.
Regardless of the terms used, early identification of autism spectrum disorders is crucial. Diagnosis rates for autism continue to rise, especially as parents and professionals become more familiar with the symptoms of Level 1 ASD or high functioning autism. Tools like the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule help psychologists and other therapists make an official diagnosis.
Prenatal Factors That May Contribute To Autism
Taking antidepressants during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months.
Nutritional deficiencies early in pregnancy, particularly not getting enough folic acid.
The age of the mother and father
Complications at or shortly after birth, including very low birth weight and neonatal anemia
Maternal infections during pregnancy.
Exposure to chemical pollutants, such as metals and pesticides, while pregnant.
More research on these prenatal risk factors is needed, but if youre pregnant or trying to conceive, it cant hurt to take steps now to reduce your babys risk of autism.
Reducing the risk of autism: Tips for expectant mothers
Take a multivitamin. Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Its not clear whether this will also help reduce risk of autism, but taking the vitamins cant hurt.
Ask about SSRIs. Women who are taking an SSRI should talk with a clinician about all the risks and benefits of these drugs. Untreated depression in a mother can also affect her childs well-being later on, so this is not a simple decision to make.
Practice prenatal care. Eating nutritious food, trying to avoid infections, and seeing a clinician for regular check-ups can increase the chances of giving birth to a healthy child.
Source: Harvard Health Publications
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