utism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. May children and adults with autism suffer from sensory processing disorder.
- Fail to respond to their names and often avoid eye contact with other people
- Difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior
- Lack empathy
- Do not engage in play with other children, prefer to be by themselves
- Severe receptive and expressive language delay
- Most remain nonverbal but some learn to speak
- Most may use speech in unusual ways. Some have difficulty combining words into meaningful sentences. They may speak only single words or repeat the same phrase over and over.
- Inability to understand body language, tone of voice and expressions that aren’t meant to be taken literally
- May not exhibit typical body language. Facial expressions, movements and gestures may not match what they are saying. Their tone of voice may fail to reflect their feelings. Some use a high-pitched sing-song or a flat, robot-like voice.
Unable to tell parent if he/she is hungry/ thirsty/ tired
- Common repetitive behaviors include hand-flapping, rocking, jumping and twirling, arranging and rearranging objects, and repeating sounds, words, or phrases
- Many children and adults with autism need and demand extreme consistency in their environment and daily routine. Slight changes can be extremely stressful and lead to outbursts
- May over-respond to sensation and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, food, or other sensory input to be unbearable. Another might under-respond and show little or no reaction to stimulation, even pain or extreme hot and cold
- Many do not feel their body in space
- Unable to bathe due to sensory issue with water
- Unable to eat due to issue with the way food feels in their mouth
- Many have to wear special weighted clothing in order to function
Often only able to sleep for short periods at a time
- Child will cry, kick, scream, hit, and bite if needs are not met. Child does not understand or know how to stop this behavior and will continue for