Characteristics of Autism
edited: Monday, September 10, 2007
By Carolyn Fuentes
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007
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Chapter 5 * Pg. 15: Explains how an autistic person functions.
In my book, Chapter 5, Pg. 15 describes characteristics of autism for those that need clarification. Autism is not like any other disorder as follows:
** CHARACTERISTICS OF AUTISM **
COMMUNICATION: Autism affects the ability of a person to understand the meaning and purpose of body language and the spoken and written word.
Meaning -- Words can be misunderstood, interpreted literally or not understood at all. Other people's feelings and emotions can also be difficult to understand.
SOCIAL INTERACTION: Social interaction for autistic people can be difficult, scary, and very confusing.
Meaning -- May withdraw and become subdued; tries hard to be social but never gets it right. People with autism can find friendships difficult.
BEHAVIOR: Impairments in communication and social interaction produce a range of behaviors that have become linked with autism spectrum disorders. These may include:
Speech - absent, delayed, or showing abnormal patterns
* Meaning-- Very hesitant and slow speech.
Play - isolated, repetitive, unimaginative, destructive, obsessive
* Meaning-- Not aware of how to play gentle and harmless with other children.
Tantrums - can be a way of expressing extreme confusion and/or frustration
* Meaning-- Because autistic children do not know how to communicate with others, they tend to scream or make sounds that draws attention.
Sensory sensitivities - to certain sounds, colors, tastes, smells, textures
Obsessions - intensive interest in favorite topics, objects, places, people, or activities
* Meaning-- Some may have an extreme attachment with toys, people that they like, a particular room, chair, etc. They will not let go of it easily. Sometimes, they become more extreme when someone close to them dies, relocates, or divorces.
Insistence on sameness - routines bring some order to the autistic person's confusion - a change of routine can be very difficult to cope with
Body movements - such as hand flapping, toe walking, repetitive movements, prolonged thoughts, and occasionally behavior that may cause self-injury (such as hand biting)
In my conclusion, autism can be mistaken and very well taken for granted if one is not aware of its characteristics.