Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex neuro-developmental condition that comprises of challenges in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction, repetitive behavior, and speech. The effects of the disorder vary in each individual according to the severity of the symptoms.

Children with autism grow normally until they reach 2-3 years. They stop reaching the desired milestone and stop acquiring new skills. Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition more commonly found in boys than in girls.

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are marked with a range of disabilities and lack of skills which can range from mild to severe. In young children, the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder include:

  • Not responding to his/her name (2 months of age)
  • Does not point at objects (14 months)
  • Lack of interest in playing ‘pretend’ games (18 months)
  • Evades eye contact
  • Prefers to stay aloof or alone
  • Gets upset by sudden changes
  • Repetitive actions like the flapping of hands, rocking or spinning in circles
  • Reacts to smell, sound, light, and taste

A child with any of the above symptoms shows a possibility of autism. A diagnostic evaluation must be conducted to understand the area that needs immediate attention.

The symptoms of autism are categorized into three parameters.

  • Difficulties concerning communication and social interaction: Inability to carry on a two-way conversation, inability to understand emotion or facial expression or tone, lack of interest, and failure to recognize relationships.
  • Lack maintain a relationship and connecting with people: Aloofness, depression, throwing of tantrums, does not interact with other children or make friends, and react negatively to sudden changes in the environment.
  • Repetitive or restricted pattern of activities: Repetitive behaviors and activities such as toe walking or hand flapping, playing with toys in a peculiar way (lining them up or flipping them) speaking in an odd way (scripted, repetitive), follow a monotonous routine or gets agitated when faced with sudden changes, and experience sensory issues related to pain, temperature, smell, touch, light, sound, etc.  

Follow the link to know about the signs and symptoms of autism:

However, children diagnosed with symptoms of autism spectrum require a range of integrated services, care, and rehabilitation. Therapies such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, art-based therapy, play therapy, etc., help them to grow and live independent and productive lives. Thus, monitoring a child’s development cycle is essential for early intervention to promote quick and optimal development and independent living of people with autism.

Author: autismconnectassociation

Autism Connect is a voluntary group based in Mumbai, India formed by parents and professional care-takers of children on the autism spectrum. Parenting and caring for a child with autism is a special responsibility in itself. There are doubts, questions and uncertainties in our minds. At Autism Connect, we endeavor to collect literature on evidence based practices (with special emphasis on newer emerging therapies) in the management of autism and share it with autism associations and organizations across the world with the hope that these associations disseminate and distribute this to their members and parents of children with autism.

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