They May Struggle To Understand Body Language Facial Expressions And Gestures
They may not realise that being in a certain proximity means people are trying to be friendly. Also, they may find it difficult to understand why people act friendly towards them, but their body language or gestures to someone else may be different. A lot of people with autism may find it hard to tell a fake friend from a true friend.
What Are Patterns Of Behavior With Autism
Children with ASD also act in ways that seem unusual or have interests that arenât typical, including:
- Repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, rocking, jumping, or twirling
- Constant moving and âhyperâ behavior
- Fixations on certain activities or objects
- Specific routines or rituals
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, light, and sound
- Not taking part in âmake-believeâ play or imitating othersâ behaviors
- Fussy eating habits
Be Honest About Your Needs
You dont have to tell anyone you have AS if you dont want to, but its a good idea to let them know about your preferences when making plans. This makes socializing more enjoyable.
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For example, if you are easily overwhelmed in noisy environments, its OK to say something like, Id love to go out for dinner, but noisy places dont work well for me. Perhaps we could go ?
If you make an alternative suggestion, you wont come off as negative. Most people are flexible when making plans and want to be understanding.
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What Are The Causes Of Autism
Experts donât fully understand all of the causes of autism spectrum disorder. It seems to be genetic, but things such as parental age and prescription medications taken during pregnancy may be involved.
- A person is more likely to be on the spectrum if a brother, sister, or parent is. But it doesnât always run in families.
- About 10% of kids with ASD have a form of genetic disorder such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome.
- A large Danish study found a link between ASD and advanced parental age of either parent.
- Women prescribed opioids just before pregnancy are likelier to have a child with ASD.
Some children who are on the spectrum start showing signs as young as a few months old. Others seem to have normal development for the first few months or years of their lives and then they start showing symptoms.
But up to half of parents of children with ASD noticed issues by the time their child reached 12 months, and between 80% and 90% noticed problems by 2 years. Children with ASD will have symptoms throughout their lives, but itâs possible for them to get better as they get older.
The autism spectrum is very wide. Some people might have very noticeable issues, others might not. The common thread is differences in social skills, communication, and behavior compared with people who arenât on the spectrum.
Social Communication And Social Interaction Challenges
Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Some autistic people are unable to speak or have limited speech while other autistic people have very good language skills but struggle to understand sarcasm or tone of voice. Other challenges include:
- taking things literally and not understanding abstract concepts
- needing extra time to process information or answer questions
- repeating what others say to them
Autistic people often have difficulty ‘reading’ other people – recognising or understanding others’ feelings and intentions – and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard to navigate the social world. Autistic people may:
- appear to be insensitive
- seek out time alone when overloaded by other people
- not seek comfort from other people
- appear to behave ‘strangely’ or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate
- find it hard to form friendships.
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They May Appear To Be Too Over
People with autism may get easily attached to people, leading them to become over-friendly. It can be difficult to understand other peoples perceptions of situations, therefore what they feel is appropriate, may be considered as socially unacceptable. This misunderstanding can lead to a difficulty in establishing friendships.
How Teachers Can Help Prevent Bullying
Teachers are often on the front lines when bullying occurs during the school day. There are some steps you can take if youre a teacher to help an autistic child avoid being bullied or escape a bullying situation.
- Always follow the schools procedures for reporting and addressing bullying behavior.
- Encourage the bullied student to talk about what happened. It helps to let the student know you believe them and are concerned.
- If the student cannot verbalize what happened, use writing, journaling or drawing methods.
- Reassure the student that reporting the situation is not tattling on another student.
If the school you work at doesnt have a formal process in place to address bullying, here are steps you can take:
- Step in the middle of the situation and stop it.
- Communicate the rules that are being violated, like keep your hands and feet to yourself and no insults allowed.
- Meet with the bullied student in a safe place to provide support and discuss what happened.
- Talk to other kids that witnessed the situation and calmly talk about what happened.
- Meet with the kid who was responsible for the bullying and encourage an apology.
- Do NOT insist the two kids to make-up on the spot without speaking with the bully first. It helps to explain to the bully that what he or she did was wrong and to encourage a sincere apology.
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Tip : Identify What Bullying Looks Like
As an autism parent, its critical you work with your child to help them understand what constitutes bullying. Then, its important to help them understand why its not okay and reassure them that you are available to support them if they experience bullying.
As an adult, this can be a bit more complicated. Bullying on an adult level can often be more subtle and nuanced. But 1 in 6 autistic adults report being bullied at work Common signs of bullying at work include being excluded or ostracised by your peers, being undermined or contradicted, public humiliation, hostility, someone using their power or position to intimidate you, unkind or hurtful language, passive-aggressive actions such as gossip, mimicking, or hurtful jokes and cyber bullying or catfishing.
Tip : Seek Support From An Autism Therapist
Work with an autism therapist for trauma treatment to deal with the lasting effects of bullying. Working with a trauma-informed autism therapist can help you learn how to cope with the effects of bullying and make a plan for how to advocate for your needs. They can be a valuable support in your life or your childs life.
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Understanding Social Cues And Sarcasm Is Hard For An Autistic Individual Making Them Targets For Bullying
Many people with ASD have trouble understanding social nuances and sarcasm. So they may not even realize they are being bullied. Sometimes when the bully reacts as if what theyre saying or doing is funny, an individual with autism may not realize that the words or actions are actually hurtful and meant to make fun of them. Bullies typically look for targets that are less likely to defend themselves. So, an individual who doesnt understand theyre being made fun of is a likely target.
Consider Telling Friends That You Have As
You dont have to tell someone you have AS. But sometimes it can help. For example, if your friend knows you are sensitive to bright lights or that you dislike large crowds, they can choose social activities and plan events that are more likely to suit you.
Keep a list of links to online resources that explain what AS is and how it affects those who have it. If you cant find any resources you like, make a list or guide of your own.
It helps to rehearse a few sentences you can use. For example:
Id like to tell you something about me. I have a form of autism called Aspergers Syndrome. It affects how I see the world and interact with other people. I think it would be useful to talk about it with you because it could help us understand each other a bit better. Would you be up for talking about it?
Remember that your friend may know absolutely nothing about AS. They might have a lot of questions, so its a good idea to allow some time for a follow-up conversation.
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Looking After Your Mental Health
If you are on the autistic spectrum, just the same as any young person, it is important to seek specialist help when you feel like you need it. But it’s also important to take good care of yourself. We recommend regular exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep and talking things through with people you know and trust.
You might find unexpected changes very stressful, so trying to keep daily routines as predictable as possible and this will help you to reduce anxiety.
With the right support, autistic people can recover from mental health problems, but its vital that there are specialist services in place to support us.
We Laugh At Inappropriate Moments
When I was at school, we use to have an annual sponsored silence in which students would raise funds on the anniversary of WWII. For the event, a guest speaker would be invited to discuss their experiences of living through one of the worlds bleakest times and, every year, I would start laughing uncontrollably. Inevitably I would be punished by teachers, but the look of disapproval from fellow students was far worse.
Since then, laughter in autistic people has come to be understood a bit better with the prevailing theory suggesting that, as laughter is one of our most innate methods of communication , it could be that when autistic people are experiencing high emotions, our body immediately falls back on to this inherent response and gets the giggles.
Subsequently, to interfere with an autistic person during this time is to tell them to not feel at all and so, while its okay to move us to a more secluded environment, its not okay to scold us for reacting in a way which has been incorrectly perceived as rude. .
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What Makes Autistic Kids Vulnerable To Bullying
An inability to communicate certain thoughts and feelingsWhile bullying is not uncommon, even for kids not diagnosed with ASD, there are certain characteristics of autistic kids that make them an easier target for bullying. Kids diagnosed with ASD may have some or all of these characteristics:
- Show limited control over what is happening around them and situations
- Have feelings of inadequacy and poor self-esteem
- Difficulty understanding facial expressions, tone of voice and body language of others
- Socially cut off from their peers
- Labeled as inadequate by their peers or teachers
- Appear depressed or self-destructive
Due to the fact that many kids with ASD find it hard to understand other kids tone of voice or body language, they may not even know when they are being bullied. Additionally, since they cannot accurately communicate certain thoughts and feelings, they may accidently offend a peer or classmate and set themselves up for bullying. Autistic kids often cannot verbally defend themselves, cannot problem solve and may not be able to relate bullying episodes in words. Bystanders like parents, teachers and peers have great power to stop bullying. More than 50 percent of bullying situations stop when someone intervenes. In my research, I learned of a variety of ways that parents and teachers can take a role in bullying prevention.
What Do I Say
Once you’ve found someone who you think would be good friend, look for chances to say “hi,” smile, and be friendly.
Here are some other tips:
- Offer to share something, like a pencil in class if the person lost theirs.
- Say “Do you want to sit here?” or “Can I sit with you?” in the lunchroom.
- Give a compliment, like “Cool sneakers!”
Just as you like to talk about your favorite things, so do friends. So when you’re together, ask your friend questions about himself or herself. “What do you like to do after school?” or “What do you do for fun?” and “What’s your favorite band?” will make your friend feel special and keep the conversation going.
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Why Do People Make Fun Of People With Autism
Autism is wide spectrum disorder that ranges from being completely non functioning to being high functioning. People with high functioning autism can have pretty normal lives, but are often perceived as socially inappropriate or total assholes . Over time people on internet jokingly associated socially inappropriate behavior more and more with autism and it became standard insult.
This. Which, when summed up, means autistic is the new retarded.
I do actually have autism, and find it offending to other people that do, i’m quite high functioning though and do have social trouble
“Autistic” is the new “retard”.
I just hope the Black Eyed Peas don’t make “Let’s Get Autistic”.
On 4chan many people like to joke about being “basement dwellers” and similar stuff, and the idea that autistic people are socially inept. So they use autism as a reason that they don’t go outside or are a virgin. I also think tendies stories helped solidify it.
I have no idea how the tendies meme didn’t die yet. It’s been nearly two years and instead, it spawned like two or three offshoot memes and still going strong.
Autism, specifically “autist,” first gained traction on Something Awful as an insult that insinuates someone has mental deficiency. The sort of person that can only moan and blabber about nothing and will contribute very little except bothering everyone around them. An alternate word would be “sperg” or “sperglord.”
How Does Autism Affect Adults
Families who have autistic loved ones may be concerned about what life with ASD looks like for an adult.
Some autistic adults go on to live or work independently. Others may require continued aid or support throughout their lives. Each autistic person is different.
Sometimes autistic people dont receive a diagnosis until much later in life. This is due, in part, to a previous lack of awareness among medical practitioners.
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Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
The first symptoms are usually seen at about age 3:
Obsessive interests. Children with autism spectrum disorder often become overly interested in a single object or subject and devote all their time and attention to it. They tend to learn everything they can about that one topic and talk about it constantly, sometimes sounding like a junior expert.
Unusual speech. Children with autism spectrum disorder have good vocabularies but unusual ways of expressing themselves. They may talk in a monotone voice and do not recognize the need to control the volume of their voice, speaking loudly in libraries or movie theaters, for example.
Social isolation. Children with the condition have trouble making friends because they are awkward in social situations. They may stand too close or talk too loudly to others, who may see their behavior as odd or inappropriate.
Physical symptoms. They may have delayed motor skills and be clumsy when they try to ride a bike or play with others. Their body movements may seem stiff, and they may repeat motions, like rocking or spinning, again and again.
Oversensitivity. Children with the condition may be unusually upset by loud sounds, bright lights, strong smells, or being touched. They may also be easily upset by any change in schedules or routines.
College Students With Autism Frequently Experience The Trauma From Bullying
They may also lack the ability to label and express their feelings to others. This makes it hard for their loved ones and supports to help them cope with the emotions theyre experiencing. A common thing many young adults and college students with autism face when they leave their home is the painful realization that their safe spot and supports are no longer as readily available. Therefore, the bullying they experience in a college or work environment may be even more devastating. Also, when an individual has trouble labeling their feelings and emotions, they may be less likely to be aware that they need support. So they are less likely to reach out to a mental health professional to talk about the trauma theyre experiencing.
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Autism Is Not An Illness
Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.
It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you’re very young.
If you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.
Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure”. But some people need support to help them with certain things.
Learn How To Make Eye Contact
Problems making eye contact is a hallmark of AS, but you can train yourself to do it. One trick is to look at the other persons iris when youre speaking to them. Studying the color and texture of someones eyes can be easier than just trying to look at them directly. For more tips, see this guide to making confident eye contact.
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