AUTISM AWARENESS INFORMATION
Autism is a developmental disability that causes problems with social skills and communication. Autism can be mild or severe and is different in every person. Autism is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Characteristics of Autism:
-Limited or no verbal speech
-Poor vocabulary development
-Difficulty following directions
-Repeating what was said "Echololia" (may be delayed or immediate, continually saying the same phrase over and over again, or repeating something that was said or asked )
-Difficulty answering questions (Child may repeat the question being asked)
-Repetitive behaviors or vocal sounds; rocking,hand flapping, non-contextual vocalizaions (sounds that have no meaning) (also known as self stimulatory behaviors: movement of eyes in a non-typical manner, starring at items low to the ground;wheels on play items such as cars/trucks, perseverations on topics or items; child may only want to watch one type of show over and over again, rewinding and playing the same episode or portion of an episode)
-Poor play skills, or social development: Limited knowledge of how to interact appropraitely with others, may not know how to share toys or becomes very possessive of own toys,
-Poor eye contact
- Sleep problems
-Loss of language (words) the child was previously able to say
-Use of objects in an unusual way (Self stimulatory behaviors: waving objects across eyes, circling a room quickly and watching items pass, interest in watching moving items such as trains or cars moving quickly in and out of the line of sight, becomes frustrated, angry or protests when behavior is stopped or item is removed from child.
-Feeding issue: limited diet, only wants one type of food (crunchy or same textured foods), has difficulty transitioning or accepting newly introduced food items, difficulty manipulating food for mastication (chewing), gagging on foods or spitting out of food items, pocketing food in cheek for long periods of time
Sensory seeking behaviors: rocking, hand flapping, enjoys swining, needs physical input
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