No one person with autism is the same, but there are numerous traits that many share in common
-Inappropriate laughing or giggling
-No real fear of dangers
-Apparent insensitivity to pain
-May not want cuddling or touching
-May over-hug, constantly touch, or may squeeze too hard
-Sustained unusual or repetitive play
-Uneven physical or verbal skills
-May avoid eye contact
-May prefer to be alone
-Difficulty in expressing needs; may use gestures
-Inappropriate attachments to objects
-Insistence on sameness
-Echoes words or phrases
-Inappropriate response or no response to sound
-Spins objects or self; Difficulty in interacting with others
Insistence on Sameness
-Easily overwhelmed by change, even slight changes. Extremely sensitive to environmental influences, and sometimes engage in rituals.
-They are anxious and tend to worry obsessively when they do not know what to expect, fatigue, and sensory overload easily throw them off balance.
-Transitions are difficult.
Impairment of social interaction
-Seems naive, unaware of “the ways of the world”, egocentric.
-Dislikes physical contact
-Talks “at” people instead of to them
-Does not understand jokes, irony, or metaphors
-Monotone or stilted tone of voice
-Inappropriate gaze and body language Insensitive and lacks tact
-Misinterprets social cues, does not understand facial expression and body language.
Restricted Range of Interests
-May have intense fixations (sometimes collecting unusual things).
-They tend to relentlessly “lecture” on areas of interest, ask repetitive questions about interests, and have trouble letting go of ideas.
-They often follow their own inclinations regardless of external demands, and sometimes refuse to learn about anything outside their limited field of interest.
Sensory Issues and Poor Concentration
-May often seem off task and distracted by internal or external stimuli or sensory issues.
-Acts disorganized, not knowing where to start or end.
-Unusual reactions to different stimulus
Poor Motor Coordination
-May be physically clumsy and awkward.
-May seem accident-prone and have a hard time playing games involving motor skills.
-They often have fine motor deficits that can cause penmanship problems that affect their ability to form letters or write clearly.
-May be nonverbal, minimally verbal, or may seem behind in communication. In contrast, may be very advanced (sound like a walking dictionary or encyclopedia).
-Tend to be very literal.
-Their images are concrete, and abstraction is poor. (may give the impression that they understand what they are talking about, when in reality they may be merely parroting what they have heard or read.)
-Rely on pictures more than understanding of words and may have reading difficulties
-Poor auditory processing
We thank AUTISM Inspiration for kindly permitting CAST to post their information on autism traits.
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