What Everyone Should Know About Autism
Autism spectrum disorder, also known as ASD, is a disorder that affects a person’s communication, behavior, and social interaction skills. We refer to this disorder as being on a spectrum because there is a wide variation of symptoms that differ in severity amongst individuals. Children and adults across the planet won’t share universal symptoms but instead, present their own unique combination of them.
Most people will have heard of the disorder but not many people know much about it, so here we look at some key points everyone should know about ASD.
There Are Three Kinds Of Autism
Firstly it’s important to understand that not everyone that has autistic symptoms necessarily has autism as a whole. It is split into three different sections.
This is what’s known by most people. When you hear the word autism this is what people are talking about. People that are diagnosed with this usually show signs of significant language delays, communication struggles, and social interaction troubles. It often comes with some behavioral difficulties and sometimes intellectual disabilities. This is the most severe and most common.
Known as a more mild form of autism, people with Aspergers may experience the same symptoms as the other forms of autism but they do tend to be milder. People with AS tend to have unusual behaviors, some social challenges, and a keen interest in specific subjects. Language or intellectual disability tend not to be an issue with Aspergers.
Pervasive Development Disorder
This is known as atypical autism. It’s usually classed to those who meet some criteria for the other two types, but not all of them. They will experience milder or fewer symptoms and only really suffer from social and communicational challenges. They tend to be higher functioning.
Social Interaction And Autism
Children and adults tend to find social interaction very difficult and it can show in a number of different ways. A lack of interest when it comes to interacting with their peers is a common trait. They will often keep themselves to themselves. Not only this but if they do interact, understanding and relating to them will be difficult for them. According to Autism Parenting Magazine, emotion also isn’t easy, ASD makes expressing emotion a struggle and can often be interpreted in the wrong way. This is why the conversation tends to be short. Another key symptom is not being able to look people in the eye.
Communication And Autism
When it comes to communicating it can be a real struggle for all those with ASD but especially with children. Delays in language development and speech can mean non-verbal communication will be the way for quite some time.
When speech starts there are other difficulties experienced by those with autism which include speaking in a flat tone or an unusual cadence. Body language and facial expressions are difficult to read so if you are communicating with anyone that has ASD it’s best to be direct and structural in what you’re saying. Taking things literally can also be something that comes around often, this means things such as jokes, idioms, sarcasm, and expressions can be difficult to read.
Everyone Is Unique
If you’ve met one person with autism then you have met one person with autism. It’s highly unlikely they are going to share the same symptoms, likes, and dislikes of anyone else with ASD. 1 in 68 people are diagnosed and they’re all extremely diverse. This is another reason as to why autism is put on a spectrum.
Some people you meet that are on the spectrum might seem very calm and collected with no outward behaviors. On the inside, however, they might have an obsession with a certain subject or they might even struggle to talk. Whereas someone else might have huge verbal cues and many sensory behaviors such as rocking on the spot or waving their arms.
There is a small percentage of people on the autistic spectrum known as savants. These people demonstrate cognitive ability beyond the reach of anyone else. These abilities can include mathematics, music, art, and many other subjects. They’re also known to have an exceptional memory, with the ability to memorize huge numbers of things that seem impossible to anyone else.
Autism is a disorder that should be understood by everyone. It’s something that creates uniqueness in its own way and there is still, unfortunately, discrimination toward autism especially within schools. If everyone knew a little more about the disorder and how they can interact with the people that have it, they would realize that they are, in fact, loving, caring, normal human beings that do some things a little differently.