Autism 

What is Autism?

 

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm) defines it in this way:

 

"Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior."

 

The main indicator of autism is impaired social interaction. A person with autism often fails to respond to their name and avoids eye contact. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke also describes indicators as: "They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior.  They may lack empathy." Children with autism are known for showing self-abusive behavior such as head-banging and biting. Children also participate in repetitive behavior such as twirling and rocking back-and-forth.

 

Early signs of autism are:

  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
  • no response to name
  • loss of language or social skills
  • poor eye contact
  • excessive lining up of toys or objects
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

Later signs include:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
  • absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
  • stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language
  • restricted patterns of interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus
  • preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
  • inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals.

 

Learn more about:

 

  • Diagnosis: essential for determining where the breakdowns are occuring
  • Interventions: learning disorders CAN be overcome!
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