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What Is High Functioning Autistic

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Resources For Autistic Children 4

What is High Functioning Autism? | Kati Morton

For parents and professionals

Fun with Feelings a two book combination that teaches parents to help their autistic child to manage their anxiety and anger from a very young age to prevent mental health problems later in life.

Garnett, M. S., Attwood T., Ford, L., Runham S. and Cook J. . Having Fun with Feelings on the Autism Spectrum: A CBT Activity Book for Kids Age 4-8. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Garnett, M. S., Attwood T., Ford, L., Runham S. and Cook J. . Ten Steps to Reducing Your Childs Anxiety on the Autism Spectrum: The CBT-based Fun with Feelings Parent Manual. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

The online course for Fun with Feelings

During this 5.5 hour course Tony and Michelle describe how to use the Fun with Feelings course with your child for the best outcomes for your whole family.

What Is High Functioning Autism

High functioning autism is a form of autism that is less severe than other forms. While autism can be challenging no matter what the situation, the symptoms of those with high functioning autism tend to interfere less with everyday life. According to, those with high functioning autism are able to read, write, communicate with others, and live independently. They are often employed and independent.

It is important to note that High Functioning Autism is not a medical term, but an informal one. It denotes, as stated above, those who have autism symptoms that are less severe. However, it is not a specific term and can cover a wide range of symptoms.

High Functioning Autism Symptoms

  • Fixation on Particular Subjects or Ideas
  • Linguistic Oddities
  • Development of Repetitive or Restrictive Habits
  • Dislike of Change
  • Focus on Self
  • Unusual Movement Patterns

Diagnosis rates for autism continue to rise, especially as parents and professionals become more familiar with the symptoms of high-functioning autism. Many patients are getting the assistance they need to live full, productive lives because their unusual behaviors are no longer seen as simple social awkwardness or eccentricity. As more caring medical and mental health professionals learn to recognize the most common symptoms of autism, the number of interventions available to people with autism will rise.

See Also: What are the 10 Most Common Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder ?

Read Also: Does Freddie Highmore Have Autism In Real Life

Make A Sensory Bottle

Sensory bottles are easy to make and a perfect sensory toy for children with autism spectrum. They are peaceful objects the children can focus on. The proprioceptive input they get from shaking the bottle will calm an autistic person down. The various floating objects inside the bottle will keep the autistic child captivated.

Learn how to make a sensory bottle here.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Signs and Symptoms of High Functioning Autism
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
People with ADHD may struggle more than others to focus on tasks such as schoolwork, but can maintain an for tasks they find rewarding or interesting.
, , hyperactivity , ,
Usual onset
Frequency 84.7 million

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a characterized by excessive amounts of , hyperactivity, and that are pervasive, impairing in multiple contexts, and otherwise .

ADHD symptoms arise from , and is considered a core symptom. In children, problems paying attention may result in poor . ADHD is associated with other neurodevelopmental and as well as some non-psychiatric disorders, which can cause additional impairment, especially in modern society. Although people with ADHD struggle to focus on tasks they are not particularly interested in completing, they are often able to maintain an unusually prolonged and intense level of attention for tasks they do find interesting or rewarding this is known as .

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Warning Signs Of High Functioning Autism In Children

by Heather | Apr 19, 2020 | Autism – Special Needs |

Whether you are familiar with autism or not, its very likely that you know or have met someone who has autism spectrum disorder. When people think of autism, they often picture a child who cannot speak or care for themselves.

Of course, that is autism, but one thing thats not as well known is that autism spectrum disorder has a very broad set of symptoms and characteristics.

There are also several different functioning levels of autism including mild, moderate, and severe. However, these levels also have a wide variety of symptoms that can be different for each person.

Now, your childs doctor is looking out for any signs of severe autism by keeping an eye on their developmental progress. So if they are behind on walking, talking, and etc, those could be signs of autism.

However, when you have a child who is high functioning autistic, they can slip through the cracks because the signs may not be quite as obvious.

This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.

As Autism Awareness Increases Across The Country More Parents Are Gaining An Understanding That Their Kids Are Not Just Socially Awkward Or Late Bloomers But That They Are Living With An Autistic Spectrum Disorder

There are different levels of disability on the Spectrum. Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism are the mildest. HFA, though no longer an accepted medical term, refers to a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders and is quite similar to AS. However, the two can be differentiated by specific characteristics more commonly associated with one than the other. If you are concerned your child may be living with HFA, understanding the distinct signs and symptoms of HFA may help you decide if you need to look for treatment for autism in Little Rock.

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Passionately Resistant To Change

Similar to #6, children with high-functioning autism can violently resist change. For example, a child with ASD may require the same cereal every morning or only eat cereal with O shapes. Thats all fine and dandy until youre staying in a hotel and realize you didnt bring a box with you and dont have quick access to a store at breakfast time.

In this scenario, the individuals reaction can range from strong violent outbursts or tantrums to a complete refusal to eat at all until the proper cereal is provided. So you can see how a family on a camping trip that didnt bring the O cereal is in a very challenging spot. It can be crippling at some times and debilitating or downright scary at others.

Resources For Autistic Children 8

High Functioning Autism (It’s NOT what you think!!) | Patrons Choice

For parents

Teach your autistic child to understand how like and love is expressed in the family and with friends to set them on a course of better relationships through life.

Attwood, T. & Garnett, M.S. . From Like to Love: Teaching Affection to Children on the Autism Spectrum. JKP: London.

For professionals

Within this book is a 6-session programme that can be run with an autistic child or group of children to demystify the social and emotional expressions of liking and love that strengthen human relationships, but cause so much confusion for autistic children. The programme can be run by a psychologist, social worker, speech pathologist, occupational therapist or counsellor.

Attwood, T. & Garnett, M.S. . Learning How to Express Affection: A Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Programme for Teaching Affection to Children on the Autism Spectrum. JKP: London.

For parents and professionals

Our autistic children can experience very strong emotions such as anxiety and anger that can increase their own suffering and the suffering of people around them. Strong expressions of anger and anxiety can lead to exclusion from meaningful activities such as school, family and community activities. These two programmes were developed to assist a parent or health professional teach an autistic child how to understand and manage their strong feelings of anger and anxiety.

Attwood, T. Exploring Feelings: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Manage Anger. Arlington, TX. Future Horizons.

For professionals

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How Are The Autism Spectrum Disorder Levels Determined

A trained psychologist will have the tools needed to determine a persons Autism Spectrum Disorder level. These tools include the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition . This assessment pairs with observation and understanding of the individuals developmental history to determine the level.

Autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months old. However, it is not uncommon to be diagnosed much later in life. However, being diagnosed later in life can make getting support more difficult. This is why its essential to look out for warning signs indevelopmental milestones. Most insuranceplans cover treatments like ABA therapy if you get a diagnosis before age eighteen.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Before we dive into what high-functioning autism disorder is and what it looks like, we first must understand autism spectrum disorder as a whole.

Autism is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult for individuals to interact and communicate socially. It is considered a spectrum disorder because the severity of symptoms can vary widely. Low-functioning autistic individuals may be completely non-verbal and require 24-hour support, while high-functioning autistic individuals may lead completely normal lives but struggle with adequate social skills.

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What Should I Do If My Child Has Delayed Milestones

Talk to your child specialist about your concerns. While it is normal for every child to achieve milestones at their own pace, you must always be on the lookout for red flags. If the child does not smile, coo, speak, react to your affections by hugging back, or have eye contact, you must consult your doctor.

You must specifically monitor your childs growth and development if

  • You were on medications like Thalidomide, Valproic acid, or antipsychotic medicines during your pregnancy.
  • You or your spouse was in your late 30s when you conceived .
  • You have a family member with autism.
  • You suffered from viral infections during your pregnancy.
  • Your baby had a low birth weight.

Always remember:

Wait and watch policy will not help a child with an autistic spectrum disorder. In fact, from 1 to 2 years of age, the brain is still developing. If the therapy is started at this point, most symptoms of autism can be worked upon. Though, currently, autism is not curable, early intervention during the preschool years can help the child manage the behavioral issues and teach them to cope better in social situations. Behavioral therapy involves teaching parents to reach out to their children. Children suffering from hyperactivity, convulsions, and sleep problems also need early medical management.

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.

Recommended Reading: What Is Autism For Kids

Theories And Empirical Research


is a study and theory of relationships especially within hierarchies. Social harmonyâthe central goal of Confucianismâresults in part from every individual knowing his or her place in the social order, and playing his or her part well. Particular duties arise from each person’s particular situation in relation to others. The individual stands simultaneously in several different relationships with different people: as a junior in relation to parents and elders and as a senior in relation to younger siblings, students, and others. Juniors are considered in Confucianism to owe their seniors reverence and seniors have duties of benevolence and concern toward juniors. A focus on mutuality is prevalent in East Asian cultures to this day.

Minding relationships

The mindfulness theory of relationships shows how closeness in relationships may be enhanced. Minding is the “reciprocal knowing process involving the nonstop, interrelated thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons in a relationship.” Five components of “minding” include:

  • Knowing and being known: seeking to understand the partner
  • Making relationship-enhancing attributions for behaviors: giving the benefit of the doubt
  • Accepting and respecting: and social skills
  • Maintaining reciprocity: active participation in relationship enhancement
  • Continuity in minding: persisting in mindfulness
  • 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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    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.

    Research Into Positive Traits

    High Functioning Autism: (What YOU NEED to Know)

    Possible positive traits of ADHD are a new avenue of research, and therefore limited. Studies are being done on whether ADHD symptoms could potentially be beneficial.

    A 2020 review found that creativity may be associated with ADHD symptoms, particularly and quantity of creative achievements, but not with the disorder of ADHD itself â i.e. it has not been found to be increased in patients diagnosed with the disorder, only in patients with subclinical symptoms or those that possess traits associated with the disorder. Divergent thinking is the ability to produce creative solutions which differ significantly from each other and consider the issue from multiple perspectives. Those with ADHD symptoms could be advantaged in this form of creativity as they tend to have diffuse attention, allowing rapid switching between aspects of the task under consideration flexible , allowing them to remember and use more distantly-related ideas which is associated with creativity and impulsivity, which causes people with ADHD symptoms to consider ideas which others may not have. However, people with ADHD may struggle with , which is a cognitive process through which a set of obviously relevant knowledge is utilized in a focused effort to arrive at a single perceived best solution to a problem.

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    Can Autistic People Work

    Kearon said most people with autism are capable of working. “There are certainly people with challenges, but with the right supports, most people can work,” he explained. And, he added, it’s important not to pigeonhole folks with autism and assume they would only be good in, say, technology-oriented jobs.

    Signs Of High Functioning Autism In Adults

    Estimates show that at least 5 million adults in the United States live with an autism spectrum disorder. This developmental condition can affect a whole range of social skills.

    However, not everyone living with autism receives a diagnosis. This can have a serious impact on your quality of life and mental health. Recognizing the signs of high functioning autism ensures that you get the help and support that you need.

    So how might high functioning autism be affecting you? Read on to find out some common autism symptoms in adults and teenagers.

    Read Also: How To Parent A Child With High Functioning Autism

    Challenges And 4 Strengths In High

    Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by the presence and degree of symptoms that affect how a person communicates, interacts with others, learns, and engages in repetitive and restricted behaviors. The 2020 Community Report on Autism, funded by the CDC, found that 1 in 54 children were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2016, which is an increase from the 1 in 59 cases found in previous years.

    Children and adults with more severe ASD usually have intellectual impairments and difficulty functioning independently. Those on the other end of the spectrumhigh-functioning autism , which used to be referred to as Aspergers syndrometend to have milder symptoms. As children, they may be integrated into some mainstream classes at school, and into the workforce as adults.

    Most cases of ASD are diagnosed around age 3 when certain milestones, such as speech and social development, havent been met or have regressed. However, with HFA, research has found that most are diagnosed later in childhood, between the ages of 7 and 9. While it is often thought that the greater awareness about ASD we now have contributes to early detection, decades ago that was not the case. At that time, the kids and adults with HFA might have just been thought of as quirky, awkward, or eccentricbut now we know so much more.

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