It is a lifelong developmental disability which affects communication with the world. Autistic person makes a different sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition. Autism Spectrum Disorder or an ASD have three “TRAID OF IMPAIRMENTS”. They are:-
- SOCIAL COMMUNICATION PROBLEM
Autistic person face difficulty in understanding ‘Body Physiology’ like facial expressions; tonality of voice. They find it difficult to differentiate between jokes and sarcasm. For the meaning of words are exactly what it mean, they find difficulty in understanding common phrases and sayings. For instance, if we say to an autistic person that “He is a cool dude.”, instead of taking the meaning out of this saying he will think about the cold temperature.
Autistic person might not speak or speak very limited. Some of these persons possess good language skills but find it difficult to repeat what the other person has just said to him know as ECHOLALIA, or difficulty in describing his interests.
To help them speak in a clear and consistent way to them as well as give them time to understand what is said to them.
- SOCIAL INTERACTION PROBLEM
Socialization is a learned process. Problem with an autistic person is that he finds difficult to recognise and understand the feelings and emotions of others and expressing his own feelings and emotions.
- Find difficulty in understanding the unwritten social rules.
- Find difficulty in understanding the emotins and feelings of others hence interpreted as insensitive person.
- Like to spend their most of the time alone rather than in a group.
- Do not seek comfort from others.
- Are mostly interpreted as behaving inappropriate or strange as they are not able to express their feelings, emotions or needs.
Because of this problem they find hard to make friends. They might want to interact with other people but may be unsure about how to go about it.
- SOCIAL IMAGINATION
Difficulties with social imagination mean that people with autism find it hard to:
- Understand and interpret other people's thoughts, feelings and actions
- Predict what will happen next, or what could happen next
- Understand the concept of danger, for example that running on to a busy road poses a threat to them
- Engage in imaginative PLAY AND ACTIVITIES: children with autism may enjoy some imaginative play but prefer to act out the same scenes each time.
- Prepare for change and plan for the future.
- Cope in new or unfamiliar situations.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AUTISM
They love routine life
It may be difficult for a person with autism to take a different approach to something once they have been taught the 'right' way to do it. People with autism may not be comfortable with the idea of change, but can cope well if they are prepared for it in advance.
They possess sensory sensitivity
People with autism may experience some form of SENSORY SENSITIVITY. This can occur in one or more of the five senses - sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. A person's senses are either intensified (hypersensitive) or under-sensitive (hypo-sensitive).
For example, a person with autism may find certain background sounds, which other people ignore or block out, unbearably loud or distracting. This can cause anxiety or even physical pain.
People who are Hypersensitive to any sense can feel anxiety or even physical pain if he is exposed to it while hypo-sensitive may not feel pain or extremes of temperature. Some may rock, spin or flap their hands to stimulate sensation, to help with balance and posture or to deal with stress.
People with sensory sensitivity may also find it harder to use their body awareness system. This system tells us where our bodies are, so for those with reduced body awareness, it can be harder to navigate rooms avoiding obstructions, stand at an appropriate distance from other people and carry out 'fine motor' tasks such as tying shoelaces.
They have Special interests
When there is something that a person with autism does well, it should be encouraged and cultivated.Many people with autism have intense special interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong, and can be anything from art or music, to trains or computers. Some people with autism may eventually be able to work or study in related areas. For others, it will remain a hobby.A special interest may sometimes be unusual.
They have Learning disabilities
People with autism may have learning disabilities, which can affect all aspects of someone's life, from studying in school, to learning how to wash themselves or make a meal. As with autism, people can have different 'degrees' of learning disability, so some will be able to live fairly independently - although they may need a degree of support to achieve this - while others may require lifelong, specialist support. However, all people with autism can, and do, learn and develop with the right sort of support.
Today 2nd April 2015 is a WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY. I had posted this article to make people aware of what is Autism and if you find any Autistic person then cooperate and help them. Take the help of Professionals. For any further queries about Autism or any kind of mental health issues feel free to write me. My mailing address is firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Dr. Neha Sharma
Counselling Psychologist & Psychotherapist