autism

Signs of autism

Autism is a continuum. In other words, the symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from average to severe. Two people with the same diagnosis can act very differently from one another and have varying skills. This is why there is no standard « type » of autism, nor does anyone have « characteristic » autism.

Like everyone else, every individual, with or without deficiencies, is unique.

In concrete terms, this is what you should look for :

Because the person with autism doesn’t know how to contact and communicate with another person, therefore

  • seems isolated, inattentive or does not worry about others
  • does not look you in the eye
  • has difficulty in sharing social activities
  • misunderstands your wishes, your questions, has difficulty in following a conversation
  • often uses language wrongly, can talk when alone or repeat an echo, or laugh without reason

Because the person with autism cannot understand a social convention or interpret the presence of another person, therefore

  • has difficulty in interpreting mimes, visual expressions, hand signals or tones of voice
  • often behaves inappropriately and may give the impression of being tactless
  • has difficulty in imagining another point of view
  • cannot predict the consequences of his/her actions
  • cannot understand strategy, lies or double meaning, and his/her frankness can be disturbing

Because the person with autism has a brain that cannot process sensory information correctly, therefore

  • often dislikes physical contact – can also be very clumsy with his/her own body
  • is quickly upset by visual or aural stimulation that is too intense or too numerous : too much noise, too many movements can rapidly bring on anxiety
  • can have a difficult relationship with colour, texture or food
  • has difficulty in deciphering and is disturbed by voice changes and intonations

Because the person with autism has a brain that cannot adapt to change, therefore

  • shows anxiety, sometimes in a devastating way, when presented with changes in routine and ritual behaviour, with unexpected events or the non-respect of rules
  • cannot handle transitions in terms of space or time
  • often has specific repetitive interests that can become obsessive : be indulgent!