Symptoms Of Mild Autism And How To Deal With It
What are typical symptoms of mild autism in children and adults? Forty years ago, autism was a relatively unknown syndrome used to describe children who couldnt interact with others and exhibited repetitive behaviors that seemed to display they were in distress.
Today, however, theres a broader view of autism, which includes mild autism and mild Asperger Syndrome and there is more knowledge of identifying the symptoms of mild autism.
This may account for some of the increase in the number of cases from less than three cases per 10,000 children in the 1970s to one case of autism per 88 children in 2011.
Regardless of the cause of the increase, identifying the problem early can aid children and bring stress relief to adults by helping them cope with the condition.
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.
Early Signs Of Autism In Preschool Kids
You may notice differences in your childs behaviors and communication right before they go to school. Some of these signs may mean that your kid is at risk for autism spectrum disorder. Here are some of the signs listed by CDC:
- Speaking less than 15 words
- Seeming confused by the function of everyday items
- Not responding to their name when called
- Not walking
- Has repetitive behaviors like rocking back and forth
Most girls show symptoms in infancy or early childhood. But they may not be recognized.
Some studies suggest that certain symptoms are seen more commonly in boys than in girls. Repetitive behaviors, for instance, may appear more often in boys. They are easier to spot.
In addition, girls deal with ASD differently than boys. They may hide their symptoms or spend more energy on adapting to social norms.
They are more able to form friendships. This may cause ASD to not be determined early on.
Don’t Miss: Adhd And Asd Comorbidity
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Asd
Every person with ASD is unique, so the timing and severity of the first signs and symptoms can vary widely. Some children with ASD show signs within the first few months of life. In others, symptoms may not become obvious until 24 months or later. Some children with ASD appear to develop normally until around 18 to 24 months of age and then stop gaining new skills and/or start losing skills.
During infancy , a child may show symptoms that include:
- Limited or no eye contact
- No babbling
- Appearing not to hear
- Playing with toys in an unusual or limited manner
- Showing more interest in objects instead of people
- Starting language skills but then stopping or losing those skills
- Showing repetitive movements with their fingers, hands, arms or head
Up to 2 years of age, there may be continuing symptoms from infancy. A child may also:
- Focus only on certain interests
- Be unable to have reciprocal social interactions
- Move in unusual ways, such as tilting their head, flexing their fingers or hands, opening their mouth or sticking out their tongue
- Have no interest in playing with other children
- Repeat words or phrases without appearing to understand them
- Have behavioural issues, including self-injury
- Have trouble controlling their emotions
- Like to have things a certain way, such as always eating the same food
Possible signs of ASD at any age:
How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed
There are no laboratory tests to determine ASD. However, certain healthcare providers receive specific training and can do screenings and evaluations if needed and who might ask parents or teachers to record observations. These providers might include specialized physicians, psychologists and speech-language pathologists.
Read Also: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
How Are The Signs Of Autism In Women Different To That Of Men
There are similarities between men and women when it comes to autistic behaviour and diagnosis. But there are significant differences too which may account for the mis-diagnosis and under reporting.
Boys tend to be more aggressive or misbehave and therefore get noticed earlier. Girls tend to withdraw and become shy and often do not get noticed. Girls and women are great at masking or camouflaging their symptoms to not draw attention to themselves.
Boys might tend to play by themselves.
Girls would stay close to other girls trying to be part of the group often pretending desperately to like the same groups, bands, music, tv shows that others do.
A woman with autism who appears withdrawn or quiet may be simply be seen as ladylike , feminine or shy. Whereas quiet, passive behaviour in a boy would be seen as unusual. Boys are expected to speak up, be rowdy and push and shove.
Standard tests for autism were designed for boys may miss diagnosis of girls with autism.
As girls grow to adult hood, there is even more pressure to fit in and disguise odd symptoms.
Many women report endlessly rehearsing for conversations they know might be coming up. They may script out answers to common questions in advance and pretend to like the same music, or movies as others.
They try to control their stimming to acceptable behaviours like foot tapping or doodling with a pencil or sitting on their hands
Early Signs Of Autism In 3 Year Old
As your kid grows older, certain signs become a little bit less clear compared to the first few months. You can get a better idea by checking the developmental milestones to see if your child is behind on some.
- Some autism red flags for 3 year olds are as follows:
- Prefers being alone,
- Doesnt like physical contact
- Has difficulty in understanding feeling
- Doesnt respond when their name is called
- Is not able to form sentences
- Speaks in flat tone
Recommended Reading: Aspergers And Stuttering
Early Signs Of Autism In Babies Aged 0
Shortly after they are born, babies begin to smile and coo at people around them. By the time they turn 2 months old, they are able to pay attention to faces.
If the child has autism spectrum disorder, this may not be the case. If a child doesnt smile, or smile as big, and is not showing any warm expression, it may be a sign of autism spectrum disorder.
The following signs can also be seen by the time the baby turns 3 months old:
- Doesnt respond to loud noises,
- Doesnt grasp objects,
- Doesnt follow objects with their eyes,
- Doesnt babble,
- Doesnt point to things,
- Doesnt respond to their names,
- Cant stand when supported,
- Doesnt babble
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.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Getting A Diagnosis
- Getting a professional diagnosis may help you to receive any appropriate funding, support and help you might need.
- Your family, friends and work colleagues may have a better understanding of you and your needs and it may allow them to support you more effectively.
- You may have a greater sense of self-identify if you understand yourself and the spectrum better.
- You may have a better understanding of your experiences as a child or adolescent.
- You may have increased confidence knowing you are part of a larger group of adults that may be like-minded.
Some adults find that by having a better understanding of the challenges associated with autism, they can use their strengths and develop strategies to support these.
Fast fact: Did you know that people on the spectrum commonly show character strengths such as loyalty, kindness, honesty and a lack of judgement?
Fixation On Particular Subjects Or Ideas
Continually discussing the same topics in conversation, obsessively playing the same song repeatedly, or reading every article written about a certain topic are some ways that autistic fixations can manifest. These interests can be negative if they take over the individuals life or interfere with their relationships with others. Of course, these obsessive tendencies can also be helpful Dan Aykroyd, writer and star in the hit film Ghostbusters, was inspired by his focus on ghosts and the paranormal. Many other high-functioning autistic individuals have used their focus on mathematics, biology, or writing to inspire successful careers.
You May Like: The Good Doctor Autism Consultant
Diagnosing Aspergers In Adults
Its no longer possible to be diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome at any age. The syndrome has ceased to be a valid diagnosis, and its symptoms are considered symptoms of autism.
To get a formal diagnosis of autism as an adult, you may undergo neuropsychological testing with a psychologist or a psychiatrist. The medical professional will interview you about your symptoms and behavior. They may also give you written or computer-based tests to compose a full picture of your language, communication, and cognitive abilities.
What kind of testing you need and from whom will vary depending on why youre seeking a diagnosis. For example, your school or college may have very specific guidelines to follow in order to get academic accommodations including quiet testing areas free of unpleasant sensory stimulation. Workplaces may offer other types of accommodation based on other criteria.
Its unlikely that a person with the type of mild autism once diagnosed as Aspergers would qualify for disability payments, which are intended for people who cant work any type of job. That said, you need a formal diagnosis from a Ph.D.-level psychologist or medical doctor to get supplemental social security income or social security disability insurance in the United States.
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.
Don’t Miss: Prognosis Mild Autism
Living With Adult Autism Tip : 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
Does Having One Or Two Of These Signs Mean I Have Autism
Remember one or two of these symptoms is not enough to diagnose autism. Only if you see a several symptoms and a pattern of behaviour over a few years should you be concerned. Some kids or teens go through a stage so if a behaviour is just occurring for a few weeks, this is not cause for concern either.
There may be something else going on that is temporary and will resolve, like a fight with her best friend causing stress or worry about an upcoming exam causing anxiety or something else.
You May Like: Hypnosis And Autism
Autism And Understanding The Emotions Of Other People
An autistic person may find it hard to understand the emotions of other people. Emotions are interpreted by subtle messages sent by facial expression, eye contact and body language. These are often missed or misinterpreted by an autistic person. Because of this, autistic people might be mistakenly perceived as being rude or unfeeling. Autistic people may find it difficult to understand how others perceive their behaviour.
What Are Some Early Signs Of Autism In Toddlers
When a baby becomes a toddler, various developmental differences, signs and symptoms may become more apparent with the growing age of the child.
During their first year, toddlers with autism spectrum disorder may not:
- like seeing new faces,
- may not be able to walk, or w__alk only on their toes__
- may find certain sounds, tastes and smells upsetting,
- may fall into repetitive movements, like flapping their hands.
These signs may be more noticeable compared to the signs presented early on. However, the majority of children with autism are not diagnosed before the age of two due to missed signs by caregivers, or lack of access to specialists.
Recommended Reading: Is Autism Heritable
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, individuals with ASD may exhibit extraordinary talents in visual skills, music, math, and art. And roughly 40 percent of individuals with ASD 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.
Early Signs Of Autism In Babies
A lifelong condition, autism spectrum disorder can be diagnosed before the child turns two. Early diagnosis can make an enormous difference in their quality of life later on.
There are certain early signs that can be observed in a newborn if your child is on the spectrum. You can detect the first signs in your infant really early in their life.
Recommended Reading: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
Can A Child Be Slightly Autistic
A child could have mild symptoms of autism, but parents and guardians should still take proactive steps to seek a diagnosis.
When a child has autism spectrum disorder , caregivers can work with professionals to develop appropriate strategies in response. These strategies help children thrive in their environment through appropriate accommodations, therapy, and parent training.
While some children with autism may rarely encounter challenges related to their disorder, others may find that negative experiences increase as they get older. This can lead to unwanted stress, potentially up to the point of a crisis event. In extreme cases, a child could lose opportunities to advance in school or other life areas.
Understanding a childs needs is important. Individuals in their life should never brush away observations that a child might have a behavior disorder. Instead, they can educate themselves on the signs of ASD and look into the next best actions to take.
Signs And Symptoms Of Asperger Syndrome
Asperger Syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that is widely described as a mild form of autism. People with ASD tend to have many of the social and sensory issues of those with more severe forms of autistic disorder but have average to above average IQs and vocabularies. They often have trouble picking up on subtle forms of communication like body language, humor, and sarcasm.
Find below some common signs of Asperger Syndrome :
- difficulty making friends of the same age, children with ASD may feel more comfortable with adults or much younger children
- engages in one-sided, long-winded conversations, without noticing if the listener is still listening or trying to change the subject
- displays unusual nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, or awkward body postures and gestures
- does not empathize with or seems insensitive to others feelings and has a hard time reading other people or may have difficulty understanding humor
- doesnt understand the give-and-take of conversation or engage in small talk
- seems egocentric or self-absorbed
- may speak in a voice that is monotone, rigid, jerky or unusually fast
- may be extremely literal or have difficulty understanding the nuances of language, despite having a good vocabulary
While all children with ASD are different, their unusual social skills and obsessive interests tend to set them apart from their peers. They may have in common some or all of the following symptoms:
You May Like: What Is The Symbol For Autism