Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorders are neurological and developmental in nature meaning that the condition is present from birth, and symptoms tend to develop within the first two years of life. ASD affects many aspects of communication, behavior, and learning. Common problems that many individuals with ASD experience are related to social, emotional, and communication skills. Fixation with certain topics, behaviors, and activities are also common in those with ASD. Individuals with ASD may repeat certain behaviors and resist change in their daily life. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Making limited or inconsistent eye contact
  • Being unresponsive or slow to respond when others call their name
  • Difficulty maintaining conversation in a back and forth manner
  • Showing facial expressions, movements, or gestures that may not be appropriate for what is being said (e.g., laughing at inappropriate times)
  • Difficulty reading and processing other people’s facial expressions and nonverbal gestures
  • An unusual tone of voice that may sound “sing-songy” or flat
  • Difficulty understanding another person’s point of view and predict/understand others’ actions
  • Trouble adapting to changes in daily activities and routines
  • Difficulty interpreting sarcasm, nuances in social situations, or abstract and figurative concepts (e.g., idioms, metaphors)
  • Being more or less sensitive than other people to sensory stimuli such as light, noise, textures (e.g., clothes, food), or temperature

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