Autism is a severe incapacitating life long developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. It is a type of brain development disorder characterized by impaired social skills and communicative skills, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.
Autism is also known as a spectrum disorder as the severity of the symptoms ranges from a mild disability to a severe impairment, with multiple problems and unusual behavior.
Autism Symptoms in Infants:
Infants with autism often display abnormal reactions to sensory stimuli. There senses may be over- or underactive. They inconsolable cry for simple touch or cuddle. They may experience touch as painful bang, ordinary smell as overwhelmingly unpleasant smell, and ordinary daily sounds as painful loud noises.
Other signs of the Autism in infants include the following:
- Resists cuddling
- Appears indifferent to surroundings
- Displays lack of interest in toys
- Appears content to be alone, happier to play alone
- Displays lack of response to others
- Does not point out objects of interest to others
- Marked reduction or increase in activity level
Autism Symptoms in Children:
Children with Autism do not express interest in other people and often prefer to be alone. They may resist changes in their routine, repeat actions over and over, and engage in self-injurious behavior such as bite or scratch themselves, bang their head.
Other symptoms in young children with autism are that they:
- Avoid eye-to-eye contact with their parents and stare at a single object for a long time.
- Have communication problems; they are not able to express themselves due to their poor verbal skills.
- Avoid cuddling or touching
- Often ignore the people around them and sometimes don’t even respond to their own name seeming to be deaf.
- Frequent behavioral outbursts, tantrums
- Show lack of interest for simple attention games and play very different as compared to other children. Even their way of playing seems to be strange.
- Inappropriate attachments to objects
- Show poor response to social smile, they does not smile or react to someone who smiles at them.
- Have an increased sensitivity to loud noises and intense lights.
- Unresponsiveness to normal teaching methods and verbal clues
- Show no fear of real dangers and appear to have a reduced sensitivity to pain.
Statistics of Autism Symptoms in Children in the United States:
- Nearly 1 in every 150 students as par the current statistics is affected with signs of this disorder.
- 24,000 babies out of the four million births in this country every year, develop this disorder.
- According to the United States Department of Education, this disorder is expected to raise at the rate of 10-17 percent every year.
- According to the Center for Disease Control, there are 1.5 million people affected with some signs of this disorder with more than 500,000 individuals being under the age of 21.
- Boys are 4 times more at risk of developing the signs of this disorder when compared to the girls.
Classification of Autism Symptoms in Adults:
Every individual suffering from this disorder has an unique set of symptoms. However there is a collection of symptoms like seizure disorders, mental retardation, mental illness and gastrointestinal issues also commonly present in these patients which remain unexplainable.
Social and Communication Autism Symptoms:
People suffering from this disorder have very typical differences in their social and communication skills. Some of these differences or signs of autism are:
- Unusual or delayed speech patters
- Flat intonation
- Inability to understand body language and tone of voice while they are used to express irony, humor or sarcasm.
- Lack of slang and any eye contact
- Inability to understand a point from the other person’s point of view.
- Some autistic people have no language to talk, some have terrific language skills and the rest struggle to converse through small talk and slang.
Sensory and Motor Autism Symptoms:
- Most of the autistic people are either more sensitive or less sensitive to sound, light, sound, crowds and increased or decreased levels of sensitivities.
- This is the reason why they cover their ears, react negatively to areas lit brightly lit areas, crash into sofas hard and crave for strong bear hugs.
- These people have fine and gross motor difficulty up to ceratin levels, though complete physical disability is not caused by this disorder.
- It results in poor handwriting and difficulty with athletic coordination making these people be involved with individual and endurance sports like swimming and running.
Personality Differences as Autism Symptoms:
Some of the common signs in the personality of autism disorder patients are:
- Possessing certain interests about which they are very passionate.
- Involved in doing certain things again and again with a fixed routine.
- Experience difficulty in maintaining many friends.
- Prefer to do activities which require less interaction with other verbally.