July 14, 2020

Pranav Harish

What Are The Symptoms of Autistic Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is a broad spectrum of several disorders that are closely related. These share some common symptoms, appearing in the developmental age of up to eight years in a child.

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle with various problems in life that affect their social interactions, communication, empathy, and other behavioral and motor skills.

They miss certain milestones that are pivotal during the developmental stage. But the degree of symptoms varies among individuals.

Some of the common symptoms of autism spectrum disorder may include:

Problems with social behavior

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Show unusual body language, facial expressions, and gestures
  • Detached and prefer to be alone, thus avoiding any social interactions
  • Socially awkward or uncomfortable
  • They find it difficult to make friends and share common interests
  • Failure to understand other's feelings and emotions
  • They feel left out

Struggle with language and speech

  • Delay in learning how to speak
  • Difficulty in communicating
  • Some have an odd tone of voice or don't talk at all
  • Trouble starting a conversation or repeat phrases
  • Difficulty talking about needs and desires
  • People with ASD often obsess over a specific topic and find it difficult to talk about anything that isn't related to their object of interest.

Restricted behavior

  • Restricted and obsessive in some behaviors and activities.
  • They display atypical posture, repetitive body movements, or move constantly.
  • Some follow a strict schedule and get upset when there is a change in the order or routine.
  • Some people may show extreme behaviors such as door banging, moaning, flick their fingers, or violent rocking.

Sensory issues

Children with ASD have an increased sensitivity to certain things such as sounds, texture, objects, or temperature that can make them hyperactive or react badly.

They may overreact or underreact to certain situations. Some may appear to be deaf or ignore people during conversations.

Whereas, sometimes even the slightest change in sounds or sudden noises can make them uncomfortable and feel disturbed. During such situations, they may cover their ears and make repetitive sounds to override the unpleasant sound.

Being highly sensitive to touch and texture, physical contact with another person or object can make them squirm.

Emotional problems

Autistic people have difficulties in expressing emotions. They may scream, cry, or laugh without reason. When disturbed, children may show aggressive behaviors such as break things, bite, kick, or harm themselves.

Studies have shown that children with ASD may stay calm in case of dangers such as vehicles and heights, but they may be terrified of harmless objects like toys.

Cognitive skills

  • Weaker verbal skills when compared to non-verbal skills.
  • Children with low to high intelligence show unevenly developed cognitive skills.
  • They find difficulty in performing tasks that require symbolic or conceptual thinking
  • But they find it easier to complete tasks that require visual skills.
  • Some people have to use signs, spelling boards, and other tools to communicate.

Related: Extraordinary Gift of Autism: Savant Skills

Physical symptoms

People with severe ASD may show physical symptoms such as insomnia, epilepsy, and gastrointestinal problems. Due to difficulty in communication, these physical symptoms of autism may go undetected.

However, it is imperative to know that if someone displays "autism-like symptoms", it doesn't necessarily mean that he/she has ASD. If you believe that someone you know has ASD, then we encourage you to seek professional help.

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