What Are Some Possible Signs Of Mild Autism
ASD encompasses a broad range of behavioral patterns and experiences.
Inconsistency from one ASD case to the next can make it more difficult for caregivers to fully connect the dots.
Even so, there are many common behaviors that could point to a possible ASD diagnosis. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , these may include:
Some children with ASD may appear to have a learning disability or other form of behavior disorder. They may also have co-occurring medical challenges, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, trouble sleeping, or seizures. Many individuals with autism may also have mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or an attention deficit disorder.
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.”
Signs You Could Be On The Autism Spectrum
Most of the stories you hear about people on the autistic spectrum feature them being diagnosed as children. It’s definitely common for signs of autism to first be noticed in childhood, when autistic kids don’t do much pretend play and find social interaction difficult. But it’s also perfectly possible for people, particularly those with more functional forms of autism , to reach adulthood without ever knowing they actually have a place in the autistic community.
When we talk about “the autistic spectrum,” we’re referring to a very wide range of disorders under the one banner of autism. There’s no one way to present autistic signs, which is why diagnostic tests about the possibility of autism in adults tend to be seriously involved. One quiz, offered by Psych Central to determine whether you might want to seek diagnosis from a medical professional, offers 50 different questions, from social interaction to patterns and empathy. But the basics of autism of any kind, according to The National Autistic Society, are three difficulties: with social communication, social interaction, and social imagination.
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Restricted Behavior And Play
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are often restricted, rigid, and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests. Symptoms may include:
- Repetitive body movements moving constantly.
- Obsessive attachment to unusual objects .
- Preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest, sometimes involving numbers or symbols .
- A strong need for sameness, order, and routines . Gets upset by change in their routine or environment.
- Clumsiness, atypical posture, or odd ways of moving.
- Fascinated by spinning objects, moving pieces, or parts of toys .
- Hyper- or hypo-reactive to sensory input .
Examples Of How To Use The Checklist:
Fig 4: Examples of how this Autism Symptoms Checklist should be used
Whether or not you see repetitive patterns, it is important to make a note of the contributing factors. This may seem tedious at first however, the information that you and you alone can gather is invaluable if your child needs a formal assessment. You know your child! Therefore, the inputs that you provide would be crucial for the physician to prescribe the right developmental tools for your child.
You can either bookmark and print this page or by clicking the pdf link on your left. Make sure you have enough copies and create a folder to store the results in. Be sure to date the form for future references.
Table 1: The Autism Symptoms Checklist Identifying the 60 signs of Autism in kids
As you can see outside influences or events such as moving, adding a new sibling to the family may have an influence on your childs behavior. I highly recommend repeating the assessment in these instances every month! It takes any child time to accommodate these changes to their lives and daily schedules. However, you dont want to pass this off as just because when there might just be an underlying complication. Early diagnosis, treatment, and therapy that ensures your child the best possible future!
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Signs Of Autism In Adults
While autism spectrum disorder is most often diagnosed in childhood, some presentations of autism may not be diagnosed until adulthood.
Autistic adults who are high functioning, or who have less noticeable communication and behavioral differences, may experience symptoms like:
- anxiety in new or unstructured situations
- difficulty decoding what makes sense to say in conversations
- stiff or exaggerated body language or hand gestures
- the wish to make friends but lack understanding of how to do it
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- patterns of communication and social interaction
- patterns in behavior and interests
Since autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, the first signs tend to appear in early childhood and infancy. Still, some autistic people dont get a diagnosis until adulthood, especially if theyve gotten used to masking their differences.
What Is The Prevalence Of Autism
The exact prevalence of autism in Australia and internationally is unknown.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that there were 205,200 Australians with autism in 2018, which is around 1% of the population or 1 in 100.
Internationally this rate varies significantly, from 1 person in every 59 people in the USA, to the average prevalence across Asia, Europe, and North America is between one and two percent.
Statistics also show that:
- the number of Australians diagnosed with autism increased by 42% between 2012 and 2015
- three out of four people diagnosed with autism are young people, aged between 5 and 24 years and
- 1-2 out of 4 Australians diagnosed with autism are female.
While the reported prevalence of autism varies around the world, there has been a clear increase in the number of people diagnosed on the autism spectrum in recent years, but this doesnt necessarily suggest that there are more autistic people in the world than there were ten or twenty years ago.
Evidence suggests that the increase is the result of a number of cultural and clinical factors, including social influences driving greater awareness of autism, and improved diagnostic procedures and changes in diagnostic criteria allowing more people to access a diagnosis.
According to Professor Whitehouse, from Australias Autism CRC, research shows the majority of the increase in autism prevalence over this period was due to an increase in diagnosing children with less severe behaviours.
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How Often Asd Occurs
CDCs Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network has been estimating the number of 8-year-old children with ASD in the United States since 2000.
ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. It is more than 4 times more common among boys than among girls.
Inflexibility Signs Of Autism In Children
Autistic children are often restricted in their behaviors and movements. They are inflexible, and even obsessive in terms of their activities, behaviors and interests.
- Inflexibility, to an extent, can be an indication of ASD. The following are the signs of inflexibility
- Strict routines – insisting on taking the same route to school every day
- Limited topic of interest – memorizing the train schedules
- Repeating the same actions – flapping hands, rocking back and forth these are also known as stimming, self stimulatory behavior
- Unusual attachments to objects – obsessively lining the trucks or arranging them in a certain order
- Difficulty in adapting to change – getting upset when their routines are interrupted
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What Is The Autism Spectrum In Terms Of Neurodiversity
To understand the concept of the autism spectrum, it might help to think of it metaphorically. Consider the characteristics of autism as colors of the rainbow. If you have ever played with a prism, you know that the light spectrum isnt limited to just red, yellow, and blue. Its a wide array of colors in varying intensity.
Most computers can only display 256 different colors. Standard office printers can print several thousand. The human eye can see far more up to 2.3 million different colors. But, even that doesnt represent the full spectrum. Since distinct light waves can combine in any number of ways, the amount of unique possible colors is nearly infinite.
Lets take this metaphor a bit further. If the autism spectrum disorder is like a rainbow, then autism spectrum disorder symptoms are like primary colors. For the sake of this exercise, lets say that social struggles is blue. Sensory processing differences can be red. And lets represent repetitive behaviors with the color yellow.
Two friends who lack social awareness might both be autistic. The one who also really struggles with sensory over-stimulation could be said to have an orange symptom cluster. The other, who also engages in repetitive behaviors, has more of a green symptom cluster.
Why Autistic Girls Go Undiagnosed
Some girls have clear autism symptoms like self-stimulating behaviors , or extreme speech and language difficulty.
If challenges with social communication or cognitive tasks are obvious, girls are usually referred for help and diagnosed at a young age. However, for girls with subtle symptoms and those who have learned to mask, autism may not be diagnosedor even discusseduntil they are pre-teens, teens, or adults.
Cultural beliefs also contribute to missed autism diagnoses. Many girls are expected to behave in quieter and less assertive ways than boys. A girl who seems shy and withdrawn might be seen as “feminine,” while a boy with the same characteristics would get intervention because they are not exhibiting more outward, “typical “boy” behavior.
Similarly, a girl who seems “spacey” and unengaged is often called a “dreamer” in a positive way, but the same behaviors might be viewed as disruptive in boys and, again, would lead to intervention.
Healthcare providers and mental health professionals can miss autism in girls, too. The diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder were put together based on available research, which has long been primarily in boys and men.
Strides are being made to help make the criteria more inclusive for autistic people who are not male, but there is still a long way to go.
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Getting An Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis
The road to an ASD diagnosis can be difficult and time-consuming. In fact, it is often two to three years after the first symptoms of ASD are noticed before an official diagnosis is made. This is due in large part to concerns about labeling or incorrectly diagnosing the child. However, an ASD diagnosis can also be delayed if the doctor doesnt take a parents concerns seriously or if the family isnt referred to health care professionals who specialize in developmental disorders.
If youre worried that your child has ASD, its important to seek out a clinical diagnosis. But dont wait for that diagnosis to get your child into treatment. Early intervention during the preschool years will improve your childs chances for overcoming their developmental delays. So look into treatment options and try not to worry if youre still waiting on a definitive diagnosis. Putting a potential label on your kids problem is far less important than treating the symptoms.
Social Communication / Interaction Behaviors May Include:
- Making little or inconsistent eye contact
- Appearing not to look at or listen to people who are talking
- Infrequently sharing interest, emotion, or enjoyment of objects or activities
- Not responding or being slow to respond to ones name or to other verbal bids for 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
- Displaying 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
- Difficulties adjusting behaviors to social situations
- Difficulties sharing in imaginative play or in making friends
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How Common Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Based on most recent CDC report, ASD is estimated to affect about 1 in 54 children, with boys being more likely to have ASD than girls. There were more than 5 million adults in the US, or 2.21% of the population, with ASD as of 2017. Government statistics suggest that the prevalence of ASD has risen 10% to 17% in recent years.
He Lacks Social Skills
When people are on the autism spectrum, they have many challenges when it comes to social situations. They may avoid eye contact, talk about inappropriate topics, and have difficulty understanding the gestures, body language, and facial expressions of others.
People with ASD may avoid group events as much as possible because they have trouble making small talk and not knowing when people are teasing.
Elizabeth Laugeson, PsyD said in an American Psychological Association podcast,
“I think difficulty with conversational skills, for example, makes it very, very difficult to develop meaningful and close relationships with people, whether they be friendships or romantic relationships. And difficulty picking up on social cues and understanding the perspectives of others, knowing how someone might actually react to something that we say or something we do. That sort of difficulty makes it really challenging for people with autism to develop these relationships.”
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Autism Symptoms In Adults At Work
Symptoms of ASD vary greatly from person to person based on the severity of the condition. These or similar manifestations of ASD may be apparent at work:
- When youre having a conversation with your boss, you prefer to look at the wall, her shoes, or anywhere but directly into her eyes.
- Your co-workers say that you speak like a robot.
- Each item on your desk has a special place, and you dont like when the cleaning company rearranges it to dust.
- You are really good at math, or software coding, but struggle to succeed in other areas.
- You talk to your co-workers the same way you talk with your family and friends.
- During meetings, you find yourself making involuntary noises, like clearing your throat over and over.
- When talking with your boss, you have difficulty telling if he is happy with your performance or mad at you.
In addition, autistic individuals may exhibit extraordinary talents in visual skills, music, math, and art. And roughly 40 percent of autistic individuals have average or above-average intelligence.
If you experience these or similar symptoms of ASD, consult a doctor or mental-health professional for a formal autism evaluation and learn more about treatment options for autism symptoms in adults.
About Early Signs Of Autism
Some early signs of autism usually appear in the first 1-2 years of life.
Early signs of autism are listed below. Some children have many early signs, whereas others have only a few. The number of signs autistic children have varies according to their age and the effect that autism has on their everyday lives.
Sometimes early signs of autism change over time. For example, children might lose or stop using social-communication or language skills, or signs might become clearer as children get older.
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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.
When You Have An Interest It’s Intense And All
Obsessions are a very common part of autistic experiences. They tend to involve learning everything possible about one particular thing or range of things, from television shows to objects to people. It can either be an entire topic or something seriously specific, too. It’s not the same as being a super-fan, though a “special interest,” as it’s termed for the autistic, is an integral part of your identity and how you live your life, and is pursued in every avenue possible. One study calls them “intense, interfering, and idiosyncratic,” which sounds like a trio of children’s book characters. And pursuing your special interest is also deeply comforting.
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