Autism is known as a complex developmental disability. Experts believe that Autism presents itself during the first three years of a person's life. The condition is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting development of the person's communication and social interaction skills. People with autism have issues with non-verbal communication, a wide range of social interactions, and activities that include an element of play and/or banter.


Very early indicators include:

• no single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
• no response to name
• loss of language or social skills
• poor eye contact
• excessive lining up of toys or objects
• no smiling or social responsiveness.

Very indicators include:

impaired ability to make friends with peers
impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language
restricted patterns of interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus
preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals.

Impaired reciprocal social interaction

poor use of body language and nonverbal communication, such as eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures;
difficulty interacting with other people and failure to make peer friendships;

Impaired communication

if speech is developed, it is abnormal in content and quality;
difficulty expressing needs and wants, verbally and/or nonverbally;
inability to initiate or sustain conversation;

Restricted repertoire of interests, behaviors, and activities

insisting on following routines and sameness, resisting change;
ritualistic or compulsive behaviors;
repetitive body movements (hand flapping, rocking) and/or abnormal posture (toe walking);

Behavioral symptoms include:
aggressive or self-injurious behavior;
noticeable extreme underactivity or overactivity;
throwing tantrums;
short attention span;
abnormal responses to sensory stimuli (for example, expressing over sensitivity or undersensitivity to pain);
abnormalities in eating or sleeping;
not responding to normal teaching methods;
playing in odd or unusual ways;
having inappropriate attachment to objects;
having no apparent fear of dangerous situations.

Mood and affect
Mood and affect vary considerably, and may include being unaware of the feelings of others, withdrawn, or emotionally labile. Some people with autism become outwardly anxious or they may become depressed in response to the realization of their problems.

In some children with autism who express affection, the affection may be indiscriminate.

Skills and Abilities of Autistic Children
Every child deserves to have his unique qualities and talents valued. For children with AS these strengths may include:

• An eye for detail
• Good rote memory
• Acquisition of knowledge
• Logical thinking
• High intelligence
• Proficiency in information and communication technology
• Objectivity (literal interpretation)
• Accuracy in mathematical computation.



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