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
Challenging Behaviors In Autism
People with autism spectrum disorder may exhibit behaviors which put themselves at risk, cause difficulties for people around them or which are not socially acceptable.
Around 50 percent of people with autism engage in behavior that can cause themselves harm when they feel frustrated, overwhelmed or unwell. Such behaviors can include:
- Banging their head on walls or other objects
- Hitting themselves, e.g. hitting their head with their hands
- Poking themselves in the eye
- Pulling their hair
- Biting themselves
- Smearing feces
A person with autism who feels frustrated, overwhelmed or feeling unwell may also display physically aggressive behavior. This can include:
- Throwing objects
- Hitting, slapping or biting other people
- Pulling other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s hair
Some people with autism eat objects that are not edible, or keep the objects in their mouth, a behavior known as pica. It is the most common eating disorder found in people with autism spectrum disorder. People may eat anything, including dirt or soap.
Carry On The Conversation
Have you ever told someone that you think they might be autistic? Let me know how it went in the comment below! Or, if youre autistic and want to open up about your condition to a friend, then why not check out my article on: How to tell a friend that you are autistic?
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Thank you for reading and I will see you next Saturday for more thoughts from across the spectrum.
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What Are The Causes Of Autism
The exact cause of autism is still under research, although the following factors predispose an individual to the development of autism
- Gender: Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls.
- Children born to older parents are at high risk of autism spectrum disorder .
- ASD is often seen if a parent or sibling suffers from autistic disorders.
- Genes: People suffering from genetic diseases such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis have a higher risk of ASD.
- Medication: Certain drugs such as valproic acid and thalidomide taken by the mother during pregnancy may cause the development of autistic characteristics in the child.
It must be noted that autism is not contagious. It does not spread by playing with or having contact with an affected child. Additionally, there is no relationship between vaccinations and autism development.
- Not responding to name by 12 months
- Not pointing to distant object by 14 months
Symptoms of autism in a child around five years
Symptoms of autism in an adult
- Difficulty in interacting with other people.
- Unable to pick up on body language and emotional subtext in conversations.
- Avoid eye contact while speaking.
- Extreme anxiety in various social situations.
- They may make friends but are unable to maintain friendships or relations.
- Extreme distress at even a minor change in routine.
- Stubborn adherence to rules.
Social Communication / Interaction Behaviors May Include:
- Making little or inconsistent eye contact
- Tending not to look at or listen to people
- Rarely sharing enjoyment of objects or activities by pointing or showing things to others
- Failing to, or being slow to, respond to someone calling their name or to other verbal attempts to gain attention
- Having difficulties with the back and forth of conversation
- Often talking at length about a favorite subject without noticing that others are not interested or without giving others a chance to respond
- Having facial expressions, movements, and gestures that do not match what is being said
- Having an unusual tone of voice that may sound sing-song or flat and robot-like
- Having trouble understanding another persons point of view or being unable to predict or understand other peoples actions
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First Signs Of Autism
The first symptoms can be difficult to spot because they start in children from a very young age but from the ages of 6-18 months is when they will begin to emerge. Some of the first characteristics that children might display are things like not making eye contact and preferring to look at you from the corner of their eye or in an indirect way like in the mirror or a window.
Other behaviours might be not really responding to your voice and also not copying your actions like pointing at things or wanting to share things with you.
A blank expression when you are trying to make them smile as well could be an indicator.
The thing to remember in general about autism is that they like to live in their own little world and dont naturally want to join in with social activities or interaction. They will do things that seem odd to us social creatures but to them they cant understand why we like interaction so much.
How To Date A Man With Autism
Dating someone with autism takes time, work, and effort. But that goes for any other relationship too.
The best thing to do when understanding how to tell if someone has autism, especially if it’s someone you love , you must learn to accept them and not try to change them.
It can be hard to deal with an autistic partner and you may never fully understand how the ASD brain works, but just because it works differently than others doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful and brilliant.
Being clear and openly communicative to your autistic partner is a good way to make your relationship work.
Stasaitis explains that to make a relationship work it “requires a potential partner being willing to be very specific and clear in all communications. You are basically interpreting what you say to them by clarifying your exact meaning. An increase in awareness for both people is important.”
And, like with any relationship, having patience with your partner is everything. Allowing the autistic person time to process everything is crucial when in a relationship with someone on the spectrum.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Asd
People with ASD have difficulty with social communication and interaction, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. The list below gives some examples of the types of behaviors that are seen in people diagnosed with ASD. Not all people with ASD will show all behaviors, but most will show several.
Obstacles To Diagnosing Ds
If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck guess what?
Parents sometimes face unnecessary obstacles in seeking help for their children. Parents have shared several reasons demonstrating this. Some of the more common include:
Problem: Failure to Recognize the Dual Diagnosis
Result: Failure to recognize the dual diagnosis except in the most severe cases.
This is frustrating for everyone who is actively seeking solutions for a child. If you are in this situation and feel that your concerns are not taken seriously, keep trying. The best advice is to trust your gut feeling regarding your child. Eventually you will find someone willing to look at all the possibilities with you.
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Autism Symptoms In Adults At Home
Other peoples feelings baffle you. You have a collection of figurines on your desk that must be in the same order at all times. These, and other common manifestations of ASD, may be apparent in adults at home:
- Your family members lovingly refer to you as the eccentric professor of the family, even though you dont work in academia.
- Youve always wanted a best friend, but never found one.
- You often invent your own words and expressions to describe things.
- Even when youre in a quiet place, like the library, you find yourself making involuntary noises like clearing your throat over and over.
- You follow the same schedule every day of the week, and dont like unexpected events.
- Expressions like, Curiosity killed the cat or Dont count your chickens before they hatch are confusing to you.
- You are always bumping into things and tripping over your own feet.
- In your leisure time, you prefer to play individual games and sports, like golf, where everyone works for themselves instead of working toward a common goal on a team.
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You Don’t Seem To Understand Feelings
A person on the autism spectrum can understand what emotions are in theory but have a hard time putting that knowledge to work in real time. This can lead to awkward or upsetting interactions.
Dr. Marsh says, “You have successfully learned to imitate and engage in ‘small talk’ through observation, but you find yourself unable to converse about anything personal, emotional, or in-depth.”
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Are Adults Self Diagnosing Autism
Autism is becoming a more prominent discussion in many areas of life, especially in regards to children and parenting. But one trend on the rise is adults self diagnosing autism spectrum disorder . Now, more than ever, adults are recognizing signs of autism in themselves, leading to contact with a professional who may diagnose them with autism or some form of ASD.
He Consistently Forgets Important Dates
For someone on the spectrum, they may not understand why there’s so much importance placed on certain dates. If they want to celebrate or buy a gift, they can do it any time they want, not because a specific date tells them they’re supposed to.
Myles says, “If birthdays, anniversaries, or other important events are overlooked or forgotten, try not to take it personally.”
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Signs Of Autism Meltdown
For some people with autism, sensory overload can become overwhelming. In these situations a person may have a meltdown. A change in routine can also precipitate a meltdown.
A meltdown is not a temper tantrum and can be experienced by someone with autism of any age. A meltdown should be managed by calming the person and addressing the cause of the distress.
Signs that a meltdown may be developing, sometimes known as the rumbling stage, include:
- Nail biting
- Chronic gastritis
- Chronic duodenitis
Many people with autism spectrum disorder also have food intolerances and may find that a diet which excludes gluten or casein helps.
Autistic Women Can Feel Excluded
As autistic women, we can feel excluded from the conversation about autism.
Even in the media, they write TV shows and movies with autistic male characters. News articles are often about a man with autism.
When society shames us for being our autistic selves, clinicians ignore our autism traits, and the media acts like we dont exist, it leaves us autistic women feeling left out.
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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
What Are The Tell
Autism spectrum disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. It can be seen in all groups of age. The Centers for Disease Control states that the disorder does not discriminate between racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Oftentimes, certain severe forms of ASD are diagnosed before the child turns two. However, high-functioning individuals may not be recognized and diagnosed until later ages in their lives.
- The level of science,
- Knowledge on autism spectrum disorder itself at the time,
- Lack of social and economic means they had,
This happens because autistic adults were not diagnosed when they were children.
Since autism spectrum disorder is still, in part, a mystery, studies generally focus on where the disorder stems from to figure out how it occurs in the first place. This has caused the focus to be on children. The adults who have never been diagnosed in their lives were partially left out in the research sphere.
However, in recent years, awareness of autism spectrum disorder in adults has increased significantly. This is due to the fact that the public is now aware of the signs and understands that a diagnosis can be made even later in life of a person.
Autism spectrum disorder impacts three main areas in an individuals life: the social aspect, communication, and their behaviors.
Since we understand autism more and more every day, we are now able to differentiate and diagnose more adults with ASD.
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Assessment For Autism Diagnosis
A formal diagnosis is done by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or neuropsychologist who does adult ASD assessments. A good place to start to find such a person is through your local autism society or by contacting the governing body for that profession. Most have a college or association and they may be able to provide you with some names of people in your area. You can also ask around, maybe through members of a support group. How did they get their diagnosis who did it? If there is a local university or medical teaching hospital, there may be a psychology department you can be referred to.
If a formal assessment is too expensive, contact the local autism society or services organization to see if they have someone on staff or a consulting psychologist. Some universities, hospitals or clinical centers offer assessments by supervised graduate students who need practical experience in diagnosing. If you are in on-going therapy for other issues, a therapist may suggest the possibility of ASD and be willing to give a diagnosis.
Keep in mind that there is no standardized screening tool tailored to adults that is universally endorsed. Some of the autism tests specifically designed for adults are: ADOS 2 Module 4, ADI-R, 3Di Adult, OCI-R, AFQ, SRS 2, RAADS-14, AdAS Spectrum.
You Have Specific And Niche Interests
We all have our own interests and hobbies, and people with autism have them too, but they are intensely focused on them, usually to the exclusion of everything else. Common examples can be anything from a fascination with 1970s Italian furniture makers to being an expert on all things train-related.
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Consulting People You Know
What Are The Signs Of Being On The Autism Spectrum
The most common form of autism spectrum disorder is classic autism. Warning signs commonly associated with autistic disorder include the following: delayed speech, social and communication problems, obsessive and/or odd behaviors such as: hand flapping, rocking and/or spinning in circles and/or learning disabilities.
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