The symptoms and characteristics of autism

The DSM, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association provides both a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. As it relates to Autism, there are 3 main areas required for diagnosis:

The symptoms and characteristics of autism

Compared with the DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, the DSM-5 diagnosis of ASD no longer includes communication as a separate criterion, and has merged social interaction and communication into one category. Some have proposed that individuals on the autism spectrum may be better represented as The symptoms and characteristics of autism single diagnostic category.

Within this category, the DSM-5 has proposed a framework of differentiating each individual by dimensions of severity, as well as associated features i.

The symptoms and characteristics of autism

Another change to the DSM includes collapsing social and communication deficits into one domain. Thus, an individual with an ASD diagnosis will be described in terms of severity of social communication symptoms, severity of fixated or restricted behaviors or interests, and associated features.

The restricting of onset age has also been loosened from 3 years of age to "early developmental period", with a note that symptoms may manifest later when social demands exceed capabilities. Asperger syndrome is closest to autism in signs and likely causes; [14] unlike autism, people with Asperger syndrome usually have no significant delay in language developmentaccording to the older DSM-4 criteria.

Some sources also include Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorderwhich share several signs with autism but may have unrelated causes; other sources differentiate them from ASD, but group all of the above conditions into the pervasive developmental disorders.

These deficits are present in early childhood, and lead to clinically significant functional impairment. Some of these include behavioral characteristics which widely range from slow development of social and learning skills to difficulties creating connections with the people around them.

Other behavioral characteristics include abnormal responses to sensations which includes, but is not limited to, sights, sounds, touch, and smell, and problems keeping the rhythm of speech.

The problem with keeping the rhythm of speech plays influence on the social skills a person has, as they may not be as easily understood by their communication partner.

The behavioral characteristics displayed by those with autism spectrum disorder typically influence development, language, and social competence. Behavioral characteristics of those with autism spectrum disorder can be seen as perceptual disturbances, disturbances of development rate, relating, speech and language, and motility.

Some of the early signs of ASDs in this course include decreased looking at faces, failure to turn when name is called, failure to show interests by showing or pointing, and delayed pretend play.

My child has just been diagnosed - what do i do now?

Regression may occur in a variety of domains, including communication, social, cognitive, and self-help skills; however, the most common regression is loss of language.

Some studies suggest that regression is associated with poorer outcomes and others report no differences between those with early gradual onset and those who experience a regression period. This leads to problems with friendships, romantic relationships, daily living, and vocational success.

Many of these challenges are linked to their atypical patterns of behavior and communication. All of these issues stem from cognitive impairments. Difficulties in this thought process is called "theory of the mind" or mind blindness which translates that the mind has difficulty with thought process as well as being aware of what is going on around them.

They may not pick up on body language or may ignore cues such as eye contact and facial expressions if they provide more information than the person can process at that time. Similarly, they have trouble recognizing subtle expressions of emotion and identifying what various emotions mean for the conversation.

They struggle with understanding the context and subtext of conversational or printed situations, and have trouble forming resulting conclusions about the content.

This also results in a lack of social awareness and atypical language expression. Often children with ASD repeat certain words, numbers, or phrases during an interaction, words unrelated to the topic of conversation. They can also exhibit a condition called echolalia in which they respond to a question by repeating the inquiry instead of answering.

These nonverbal behavior signals are called paralinguistic features of communication. They are additions to the words being expressed that help determine the persons feelings or thoughts on a topic. While they might be telling you they are angry about something, they also might be gesturing by throwing their hands in the air to help express their anger.

These signals include bodily contact, proximity, posture, head nods, and looking. There are many common bodily contact signals that people with autism display, but the most common are greetings and goodbyes. These can include the waving of hands to signal hello or goodbye.

Individuals with ASD tend to stand closer or be closer to you when you are speaking. What is important to note for a person with ASD is that if they change their proximity towards you during a conversation, they are trying to end the discussion or are trying to change the discussion topic.

The posture of an ASD person can determine the emotional state that they are in.

The symptoms and characteristics of autism

If they are hunched over, one might be able to determine that they are upset or stressed about something occurring in their life. Head nods express the connection with speech. If a person nods their head once or twice they are comprehending what you say and understanding the topic at hand and what is being stated about it.

If they nod more than once it is possible that the person with autism would like to say something and add to the conversation.


While looking at another person while they speak might be a understood guideline for those without ASD, those with ASD may not have this.

The might look away during a conversation and spend most time with an eye gaze not on the other communication partner. People with autism with be different in their nonverbal communication signals depending on the type of autism spectrum disorder they have.Symptoms and exact nature of Autism may vary from person to person, but these Autism characteristics are usually common to every individual and hence forms a part of the diagnosis process.

Although the diagnosis of autism may not be made until a child reaches preschool or school age, the signs and symptoms of autism may be apparent by the time the child is aged months, and the behavioral characteristics of autism are almost always evident by the time the child is aged 3 years.

Autism is a condition which affects the way a person responds to the world around them. The label is given to people who have untypical social interactions, communication and have some restrictive and/or repetitive behaviour.

Adults with autism The main features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are problems with social communication and interaction.

See your GP or health visitor if you notice any of the following signs of ASD in your child or if . Autism Prevalence Jumps 16 Percent, CDC Says.

Rising awareness of the condition’s characteristics may contribute to an increase in reporting. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

CDC is working to find out how many children have ASDs, discover the risk factors, and raise awareness of the signs.

Autism spectrum - Wikipedia