>> Thursday, January 22, 2009

Autism is a more complex disorder, but it can be like ADHD. It is a collection of symptoms from three major areas, with at least two symptoms in the first area (qualitative impairment in social interactions), and at least one from the second (qualitative impairment in communication), and one from the third (restricted repetitive and stero-typed patterns of behavior, interests, and activities). The symptoms for autism are as follows.

Qualitative Impairment In Social Interactions
1.) Difficulty in the use of non-verbal behaviors such as eye-contact, facial expressions, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interactions.
2.)Failure to develop age-appropriate relationships with peers.
3.) Lack of a spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment or interests with others.
4.) Lack of social or emotional reciprocity ("give and take" that occurs in relationships.)

Qualitative Impairments In Communication
1.) Delay or lack of spoken language
2.) Lack of gesture communication such as pointing
3.) Difficulty in initiating or sustaining conversation with others.
4.) Stereotyped or repetitive use of language or unusual language such as quoting memorized dialogue from TV or videos, or using phrases totally out of context.
5.) Lack of spontaneous make-believe play or social play appropriate to the child's developmental level.

Restricted Repetitive And Stereotyped Patterns Of Behavior, Interests, and Activities
1.) Unusual preoccupation with a particular area of interest that is abnormal in either intensity or focus.
2.) Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, non-functional routines or rituals
3.) Stereotyped and repetitive motor behaviors (hand-flapping, whole-body rocking).
4.) Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects ( spinning wheels on a car rather than using it in play).

There must also be delays or abnormal function occurring before age three years in at least one of the following: social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play. An ASD feature is about the quality of a skill or interaction. A child may be able to recite an entire book from memory, but not be able to have a conversation. His language may seem advanced, but the ability to communicate is not typical. Not every child will meet the exact number or combination of symptoms comprising autism. Children with autism are different from children who have only speech-language delays or overall developmental delays because of the quality or lack of development of social and interaction skills.

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