Initially, teenagers and children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are identified as having problems in communication and behavioral aspects. When these two are showing, then it is time for you to dig deeper, and then maybe resort to therapy.
The Indicators Of ASD
“Autism is a result of neurological differences in the structure of the brain that distinguish it from what we call the neurotypical brain. It is not mental illness or a personality disorder.” –Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHC
Below are some of the behavioral and communication indicators signifying that a person has ASD.
These indicators are noticeable when the child reaches school age. Some of these signs are having a hard time adjusting socially in school, focusing on one school work, unable to follow instructions, unable to connect with other kids and not into interests that are expected in their age.
If you notice these indicators are present in your child, it is best that you bring your child to a doctor so he can refer to you the right professional to help you out in this matter.
- Difficulty in taking turns during conversations. Either the child does all the talking during the whole talk, cannot directly answer the question of the other party or is having a hard time engaging into different topics of conversation
- Language confusion and understanding the statements literally. This is when the child could not comprehend if you are using figures of speech. You need to break it out for him so he can understand what you mean.
- Difficulty in following instructions. The child can only process one or two steps. The rest, you need to spell it out to him slowly so he can understand you and do it.
- Inability to read nonverbal cues. You need to tell him what is going on. Despite all the signs the other person is portraying, a person with ASD is unaware of what is happening around him.
- Irregular eye contact. Kids with this condition have trouble making eye contact with other people. Both parties when conversing will have a hard time reading each other thoroughly because the child with the said disorder is expressing himself differently.
- Limited gestures. The child doesn’t use motions, and hand or body language when talking. He does it with just talking and in a monotone voice.
- Rather be alone. The child would choose to be on his own rather than socialize with other kids.
- By his rules only. If he associated with other kids, he expects that everything should be in his terms. He would dominate and would not let other kids surpass him in authority. (This applies for extreme cases of ASD.)
- Not understanding friendship rules. He is having a hard time understanding that there is a give and take relationship with friendship. He only thinks of himself and does not care about others. (This applies for extreme cases of ASD.)
- No Friends. Kids with this kind of disorder don’t have many friends, or if he does, it cannot be considered as real friends. (This applies for extreme cases of ASD.)
- Difficulty in adapting. He has a hard time changing in a new environment. And this is also true when it comes to socialization. He would have trouble adjusting or blending himself into the crowd in different kinds of social gathering.
“More recently there has been a greater emphasis upon social skills awareness and skills to independently navigate the social world. This change is in response to the widening of the diagnostic criteria, allowing for the identification of a greater number of individuals with social skill and social understanding impairments.” –Marlene Driscoll, MA, LMFT
Behavioral Indicators Of ASD
- Having entirely unusual interests that is not common for a child. Either the interest is very dangerous or highly intellectual.
- Compulsive behavior. Reacting to things in a very aggressive manner, or reactions that are entirely unnecessary for that specific situation.
- Sensitive. Gets upset easily and would make small issues big.
- Attachment on unusual things. Having that affection or being fond of things that are entirely out of their range — or not expected of their age.
- Unable to adapt to new things. When changes occur, the child would have a hard time adjusting to it.
- Repetitive movements. It is manifesting gestures that are being done over and over again.
- Making unnecessary noises
- Sensitive on some sensory. Some sounds and visuals can upset him.
- Sensory stimulation. The child takes special interests on things that can be of harmful to him.
- Sleeping problems. Difficulty in falling asleep or having an unusually long and uninterrupted sleep.
- Anxiety. A child with this disorder is displaying anxiety now and then. This is especially true when he is faced with new situations.
- Depression. Depression strikes on kids with ASD especially when they are being exposed to new and unfamiliar things.
- Aggressive behavior. ASD disables the kids from comprehending things thoroughly. Thus, there are instances wherein they react rather aggressively over some things or situations.
- Eating problems. This problem surfaces especially if the child is having anxiety or depression or even both. His appetite changes drastically.
- Doesn’t want to go to school. A child with ASD display disinterest in going to school for he has this notion of being on his own all the time, avoiding interaction and school activities can be overwhelming for him.
“Autism is a complex developmental disability that causes difficulties in many areas, with varying degrees of severity, most notably with social interaction and communication.” –Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT
These are just some of the many indicators of ASD. This should not be taken for granted, but rather, should be acted upon at the soonest possible time.