Autism is not a disability it’s a different ability
Autism spectrum disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder. This means apparently it happened in early childhood and affects all the aspects of a child’s development. The word Autism was firstly used as a diagnosis in 1943, by a doctor of Maryland’s Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Leo Kanner. He studied 11 children and diagnosed them to have infantile Autism. The word Autism is drive from a Greek work Autos which means “Self” So, autism literally means “Alone”.
According to the data of Centre of disease control, 1 in 59 children is estimated to have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Boys are three to four time more likely to diagnose with Autism Spectrum Disorder then the girls. Moreover, mostly girls with autism show less obvious signs of disorder as compare to boys. Autism spectrum disorder affects all creeds, all nationalities, all races, all religions, and both sexes. It does not differentiate or affect only one group or another.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is a fastest growing complex developmental condition. This involves persistent challenges in speech, nonverbal communication, social interactions and repetitive as well as restricted behaviors. This is a developmental disability and diagnosed usually in childhood first and exhibits many of the most obvious signs of disorder. It generally appears around the age of 2-3 years but in some cases children with this disorder develop normality until toddlerhood and then stop acquiring new skills and loss previously gained skills.
Autism is a lifelong condition. It is a developmental disability that can cause significant challenges at behavioral, social and communicational level. Apparently there is often no any clue present that child with Autism spectrum disorder is look differently that sets them apart from other people. However, people with Autism spectrum disorder may behave, interact, communicate and learn in a way that is different from other people. The thinking, learning and problem solving abilities of children with Autism spectrum disorder can range from gifted to severely challenge. Many people with this disorder need a lot of help in their lives and other need less. However, many people diagnosed with Autism go on to fulfilling their lives productively and independently.
Basic Signs and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder
“If you have met one individual with autism, you have met one individual with autism”
Sign of Autism can be differs from person to person in combination of symptoms and in severity level. Every person with autism is different from other person with autism like normal people different from each other. Children with autism have a great range of characteristics and abilities. In this disorder no two people behave or appear the same way. Signs of Autism begin during early childhood and typically last throughout a person’s life.
To get the early help that an autistic child needs at proper time it is important that their parents have understanding about the symptoms of this disorder. Some clear signs now have been identified that help parents to recognize the symptoms and characteristics of Autism and other possible developmental challenges in their own children.
Children or Adults with Autism might have Following Signs:
- Children with Autism are not able to point at objects to show interest. For example: they can’t point at an airplane flying over.
- They are not able to look at objects when another person points at them.
- They have trouble relating to others and mostly have no any interest in other people at all.
- Avoid eye contact
- Hyperactivity or passiveness
- Inappropriate laughing and crying
- Autistic child want to be alone
- People with Autism have trouble talking about their own feelings and couldn’t understand feelings of other people.
- Moreover, they may display lack of empathy.
- Autistic child prefer not to cuddle or even be held, they might cuddle only when they want to.
- They respond to other sounds and appear to be unaware when people talking to them.
- Sometimes Autistic child be very interested in some people, but they don’t know how to talk, play, or relate to them.
- Child with Autism repeats and echo words, sentence and phrases said to them, or sometimes repeat words or phrases in place of normal language.
- They have difficulty to express their needs by using typical words and motions
- Children with Autism can’t “pretend” while playing games. For example, they couldn’t pretend to “feed” a doll while playing with it.
- They repeat actions over and over again.
- People with Autism have difficulty adapting new routine and don’t like changes in daily schedules.
- Other children with Autism may have usual interests but the range of interests is unusually restricted and they get obsessed about few interests.
- Sometimes, they have unusual reactions to the way things taste, smell, feel, look, and sound.
- Oversensitive and under-sensitive to sound
- In some cases autistic child start to lose skills they once had such as, stop saying words they were usually using.
- Lack of awareness of danger
- Sleep disturbance
Symptoms According to DSM-Ⅴ
People diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder often have problems with emotional, social, and communicational skills. They repeat certain behaviors and might not want any changes in their daily activities. Many children with Autism also have different ways of learning things, paying attention, as well as reacting to environment. The symptoms of Autism spectrum disorder is divided into two categories according to DSM-Ⅴ.
Social interaction and communication problems:
- Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, which means that, they have abnormal social approach and difficulties in normal back-and-forth conversations. They are not able to share their interests, feelings, emotions or affects.
- Difficulties to initiate or respond to social interactions. They have difficulties in nonverbal communicational behaviors use for social interaction. For example: poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication, abnormal eye contact, abnormal body language, difficulties in understanding and use of gesture, total lack of facial expression and nonverbal communication.
- Difficulties in developing, understanding, and maintaining relationships, such as absence of interest in peer and difficulties in making friends.
Restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests or activities:
- Repetitiveness in motor-movements, speech and use of objects, such as simple motor stereotypies, flipping objects, lining up toys, hand-flapping, and toe-walking.
- Insistence on sameness, ritualized patterns of verbal and nonverbal behavior as well as inflexible adherence to routines. They experience extreme distress on small changes in routines and have difficulties in transitions. They have rigid thinking patterns and greeting rituals. Sometime they insist to eat same food every day.
- Have abnormality intensified, highly restricted and fixed interests, such as strong attachment and preoccupation with unusual objects.
- Hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input as well as unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment. For example: indifference to pain and temperature, adverse response to excessive touching or smelling of things and specific texture and sound of objects, have visual fascination with lights and movement, being overwhelmed with loud noises.
These symptoms must be present in the early developmental period of a child’s life and cause clinically significant impairment in occupational, social, and other important areas of current functioning.
Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Diagnosing Autism spectrum disorder can be difficult because there is no any medical test, such as a blood test, genetic, chemical or neurological test to diagnose the disorders. A diagnosis of autism is still made on the basis of behavioral observation. Doctors and professionals looked at the child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis. Sometimes Autism spectrum disorder can be detected at 18 months or younger. At the age of two, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable. However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until they get much older. This delay means that children with Autism might not get the early help they need.
Strengths and Positive Characteristics of Autistic People
No doubt the Autistic child is so challenging in so many aspects of life but you may also notice that Autistic child have some abilities and skills that work as their strengths. Autistic people not only characterized by the areas of challenge but also by significant areas of strength. You must know that Autistic child is a unique being. They have amazing abilities and skills even with Autism that make them unique. Following are some positive characteristics of Autistic child:
- Many Autistic people are superior at what is known as Systemizing, which means that “the ability to analyze objects and events, to understand their structure and predict their future behavior”.
- Autistic child have ability to show an above-average awareness of details and to segment stimuli
- Children with Autism often care deeply about things.
- Autistic child are Hyperlexia, which is ability to decode written language at above one’s age or grade level in school. Some individuals with autism can decode written language before they can even comprehend it.
- Sometime individuals with autism are very creative and find a passion and talent for theater, music, dance, art, and they also sing quite easily.
- Have Strong long-term memory
- Direct communication
- Think in a visual way
- They are Punctual, Honest, loyal and Detail oriented
- They have independent thinking, which means they are less concerned about what others may think of them
- Autistic person is a non-judgmental listener
- They have extensive knowledge about things because of deep study in favorite subjects and topics
- Understand sequences and rules
- They have logical thinking that help them in decision-making process
- Pay intensive focus when they are working on a favorite activity
Planning For Their Future: Tips For Parents
Children with Autism spectrum disorder not only characterized as their challenging behaviors but they also get attention due to their positive characteristics and skills. People with Autism typically continue to learn things and compensate for problems throughout their life, but most of them also will continue to require some level of support. Parents should determine what their Autistic child good at will help to provide their child a sense of achievement. You can blend you child’s positive abilities into their daily activities. When your child practices their skills he/she will get the satisfaction and joy to learn more. When they practice their skills more and build upon their strengths, they will become more successful and happier in their upcoming life.
These strengths and abilities may be the points they will determine what they will be taking up as a job in their future. Determining the positive characteristics and abilities of your Autistic Child and working on the challenges can greatly improve both your and your child’s life in general. Planning for your Autistic child’s future opportunities, such as college, employment, living situation, independence and the services required for support can make this process smoother.
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