What Are The Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Signs of ASD range from mild to severely disabling, and every person is different. The following signs are considered to be red flags that indicate your young child may be at risk for autism. If your child shows any of the following signs, please get in touch with your childs healthcare provider to discuss a referral for an autism evaluation.
The signs include the following:
- Your child doesnt respond to their name being called at all or responds inconsistently.
- Your child doesnt smile widely or make warm, joyful expressions by the age of 6 months.
- Your child doesnt engage in smiling, making sounds and making faces with you or other people by the age of 9 months.
- Your child doesnt babble by 12 months.
- No back-and-forth gestures such as showing, pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months.
- No words by 16 months.
- No meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months.
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.
Signs & Symptoms Of Adult Autism
Autistic people typically find aspects of communication and social interaction challenging. They may have difficulty relating to other people and understanding the emotions of others.
Autistic people may also have inflexible thought patterns and behavior, and they often carry out repetitive actions.
Adults with mild symptoms of ASD may not get a diagnosis until later in life, if ever.
Common signs and symptoms of ASD in adults can include:
- difficulty making or maintaining close friendships
- discomfort during eye contact
- extreme interest in one particular topic, such as a specific period of history
- frequent monologues on the same subject or subjects
- hypersensitivity to sounds or smells that do not seem to bother others
- involuntary noises, such as repetitive throat clearing
- issues understanding sarcasm or idioms
- lack of inflection when speaking
- only having an interest in a few activities
- preference for solitary activities
- problems reading the emotions of others
- trouble understanding facial expressions and body language
- reliance on daily routines and difficulty dealing with changes to routine
- repetitive behaviors
- ;in mathematics and related disciplines, in some cases
- the need to arrange items in a specific order
Autistic people will not usually have all of the above signs and symptoms, and they may experience others that are not on the list. Signs and symptoms vary from person to person.
Also, the symptoms can differ between men and women.
Is There A Test For Asd In Adults
Clinicians have developed different tests that can help diagnose ASD in adults. These include diagnostic tests such as ADOS 2 Module 4, ADI-R, and 3Di Adult.
However, it is not clear how reliable these tests are for adults. The reasons for this include:
- Researchers who look at the reliability of ASD tests often use a small number of study participants.
- Not many research studies on testing for adult ASD include enough participants from historically underserved groups, such as People of Color or people who are LGBTQIA+. This means the results of studies looking at ASD testing methods may not represent a true population of autistic adults.
- Many clinicians may not be familiar with the signs of ASD in adulthood. This is especially true if the patientâs symptoms are not severe or if the patient also has other conditions, for example, anxiety.
Autistic people may have of co-occurring conditions, such as anxiety or depression, than those in the general population.
Recommended Reading: How To Tell If Your Parent Is Autistic
Success In Autistic Adults
While it’s relatively rare, quite a few adults with diagnosed autism are moderately to extremely successful people. Some are happily married and partnered, and many are fully employed.
Quite a few;have become role models for young adults on the spectrum who hope to live full, independent lives. Just a few such role models include:
- Temple Grandin, animal husbandry expert, author, and public speaker
- Stephen Shore, author, musician, professor, public speaker
- John Elder Robison, author, and public speaker
- Dan Ackroyd, actor, singer, radio personality
- Daryl Hannah, actor
These individuals and with many others are active autism advocates. Many speak publicly about their experiences and offer resources and insights both to autistic adults and to their family members.
Causes And Risk Factors
While scientists dont know the exact causes of ASD, research suggests that genes can act together with influences from the environment to affect development in ways that lead to ASD. Although scientists are still trying to understand why some people develop ASD and others dont, some risk factors include:
- Having a sibling with ASD
- Having older parents
- Having certain genetic conditionspeople with conditions such as Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Rett syndrome are more likely than others to have ASD
- Very low birth weight
Recommended Reading: Are Stuttering And Autism Related
How To Help Any Autistic Behaviour That Occurs As A Child Becomes A Teenager:
- Take a calm, quiet approach when talking to the young person
- Give them their own space, while ensuring that they dont retreat from family life altogether
- Limit online activities to encourage face-to-face time with people
- Plan activities for weekends and holidays in advance and share those plans with the young person
- Keep to a routine
- When talking to your son or daughter, do so while engaging in a chosen activity, such as walking through the park or driving in the car with them as a front-seat passenger, rather than sitting looking at them
- Use lots of subtle and genuine praise, as children with autism generally have low self-esteem and need more genuine praise then neuro-typical children. But remember that many autistic children dislike being singled-out in front of others and praised
Emotional And Behavioral Difficulties
- You have trouble regulating your emotions and your responses to them.
- Changes in routines and expectations cause 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.
- You make noises in places where quiet is expected.
You May Like: What Is The Best Pet For An Autistic Child
Limited Yet Focused Interests
Persons with high-functioning autism can handle various daily tasks on their own. Â;Nonetheless, they display signs like excessive preoccupation within specific areas of interest. Â;This sign is one of the markers of a person with high-functioning autism.
For instance, they may have the habit of constantly talking about one topic. Â;Or, they might read articles or collect many items related to the topic. Â;Others might also listen to a song or part of a movie over and over again without tiring.
When unbalanced, this fixation can be quite disruptive to an individuals life. Â;But at the same time, this intense focused interest can lead to creative ideas and innovation. Â;This is why many excel in areas such as art, science, and technology.
Autism In Adults Symptoms
Autism in adults could be a late diagnosis. It manifests differently across age ranges. Some people have milder forms while others develop severe problems later in adulthood. Symptoms vary from case to case, so they dont necessarily follow any particular pattern. For example, some people who show signs of autism at school will grow out of their issues once they reach adolescence. Others continue to display similar traits throughout childhood and beyond.
In general terms, however, most cases involve three signs of autism for adults:
1) Problems relating to social interaction
2) A lack of imagination and creativity
3) Difficulty understanding language
According to Mayo Clinic, lack of clear facial expressions and no eye contact can easily help in diagnosing autism.
Don’t Miss: Which Month Is Autism Awareness
What Are The Strategies For Adults With Autism
There isnt any cure for autism. But there are many strategies available to help autistic adults manage their symptoms. The first step toward improving communication skills involves learning to recognize signs of trouble. Once you notice warning signals, its best to ask questions so you can learn more about why your loved one behaves as she does.
How Does Autistic Adult React At Home
Many people with autism experience difficulties interacting socially. They tend not to initiate conversations with strangers and prefer familiar faces. As a result, they may avoid social gatherings where they might meet unfamiliar people. However, some people with ASD enjoy spending time alone. Others become anxious if left without company.
Some people with ASD develop obsessive interests. For example, someone with this condition may spend hours looking through old photographs or collecting stamps. The person may lose track of time and forget to eat or sleep. Such obsessions can make life difficult for loved ones.
A few people with ASD develop unusual habits. One man collects matchboxes from hotels around the world. When his collection grows large enough, he takes trips overseas to visit each hotel room. A woman keeps her hair long so no one else touches it. She says she likes having my own head.
Don’t Miss: Will My Child Be Autistic
Criteria Your Healthcare Provider May Consider Include:
- Social observations. Your healthcare provider may ask you about your social life. They want to assess your social skills and your interactions with others. This can help them gauge how significantly your symptoms affect this area of your life.
- Physical issues. Your healthcare provider will want to rule out possible underlying health conditions that could account for your symptoms.
- Other conditions. People with AS frequently experience anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity. In fact, AS may be misdiagnosed as one of these conditions. When a trained specialist is able to examine you, however, its more likely youll receive a proper diagnosis.
Is Aspergers still a diagnosis?
Aspergers syndrome is no longer included in the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . If you have Aspergers syndrome, your healthcare provider may still use the term Asperger syndrome or Aspergers. However, your diagnosis will be autism spectrum disorder.
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.
Read Also: Can You Hypnotize An Autistic Person
What Are The Communication Challenges Faced By Autistic Adults
Autism spectrum disorders affect how an individual communicates with others. People who have these conditions often find communicating challenging. Some individuals with ASD do not understand what others mean when they use certain words or phrases. These misunderstandings lead to frustration on both sides. Other times, people with ASD misinterpret anothers actions. This leads them to behave in ways that annoy others. In addition, some people with ASD cannot read nonverbal cues.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disability that causes social, behavioral and communication challenges. Autism affects approximately one in every fifty-nine children in the United States. Symptoms vary widely from patient to patient.
Importance of Autism Awareness and Support
If you are looking for support services for children with Autism in Little Rock, knowing where in the Spectrum your child falls is important to finding appropriate care. Children with HFA tend to have very few intellectual challenges, and their IQ is usually above 70. Your child may score normally or above average on an IQ test and perform well in school, but she could still be autistic. Because children with HFA can have an above-average IQ and no intellectual challenges, High Functioning Autism awareness tends to be low. With little to no support for these children, they often become emotionally distressed.
Causes of Autism
The causes of autism have not been discovered, but doctors suggest the condition originates from structural underdevelopment of specific regions of the brain. There is no cure for ASD, but with therapeutic;treatment for autism, your child can live a normal and fulfilling life. Knowing what to look for goes a long way in helping a child with autism receive the support they need.
You May Like: What’s The Definition Of Autism
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.;
Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are not yet known. Scientists believe there are multiple causes of ASD that act together to change the most common ways people develop. We still have much to learn about these causes and how they impact people with ASD.
There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people. They may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The abilities of people with ASD can vary significantly. For example, some people with ASD may have advanced conversation skills whereas others may be nonverbal. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others can work and live with little to no support.
ASD begins before the age of 3 years and can last throughout a persons life, although symptoms may improve over time. Some children show ASD symptoms within the first 12 months of life. In others, symptoms may not show up until 24 months or later. Some children with ASD gain new skills and meet developmental milestones, until around 18 to 24 months of age and then they stop gaining new skills, or they lose the skills they once had.
Also Check: Can You Get Rid Of Autism
Been There Done That Try This
There is practical information and advice on intricacy, dating, sex and marriage in Been There. Done That. TRY THIS! An Aspies Guide to Life on Earth edited by Tony Attwood, Craig R. Evans and Anita Lesko . It says that Many people with Aspergers/HFA have difficulty understanding the complexities of these issues. One example of a person who finds discussing these issues difficult is Richard Maguire, who has autism, despite him mentoring lonely adults who want to be in love, marry and have sex who are afraid of these things yet need them greatly. A good form of advice he has is to address and negotiate friendships first and then get into the more complex and sexual aspects of relationships . At the time of writing his section for the book, Maguire has been married for 21 years to a lovely empathetic lady through a shared interest, Christian Faith. He admits that Staying married has not been easy because he and his wife have needed to learn to grow and develop relationship over the years .
Social Communication And Interaction Problems
Photo by cottonbro at Pexels.com
- Lack of interest or feeling awkward about interacting with others.
- Avoiding eye contact.
- Difficulty with making friends.
- Being unable to use or read body language, gestures or facial expressions .
- Saying inappropriate things at times.
- Having trouble expressing themselves with language, or not speaking at all .
Read Also: What Is The Meaning Of Autism In Hindi
What Is Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger’s syndrome is a diagnosis that was once given to those who had trouble with social interactions. People diagnosed with Asperger’s also had obsessive interests and enjoyed repetitive activities.;
Since 2013, people who were once considered to have Asperger’s have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Doctors now understand behaviors that were once believed to be associated with Asperger’s as caused by mild autism.
Living With Adult Autism Tip 1: Improve Communication And Relationships
If other people have a hard time reading and understanding youand you themyoull likely have difficulty with relationships. But you can still find ways to nurture a healthy social life.
Consider disclosing your diagnosis. Talking about your diagnosis can be difficult and the social stigma attached to ASD may make you shy away from doing so. While disclosure is entirely up to you and your comfort level, it may help improve some relationships. Letting close friends and family know about your diagnosis can help them understand why you have a hard time interpreting their sarcastic comments, for example, or why youre distressed by sounds that seem normal to everyone else.
Note when youre experiencing sensory overload. Perhaps you find it difficult to keep up with everything thats going on in an intense group conversation. Or maybe something as simple as loud traffic or a barking dog is bothering you. Do what you can to minimize distractions. This might involve switching rooms or leaving a larger group for a one-on-one chat.
Look for common ground with the person youre talking to. Establishing commonalities can lead to more relaxed and enjoyable conversations. If you have similar hobbies, thats, of course, great news. Otherwise, you can look for other things you both like or dislike. This could be anything from a shared interest in cars to a shared dislike for loud noises.
Support groups for adults with autism