Autism Indicators

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I have come to learn that those with autism find social interactions difficult and have repetitive behaviors and focused interests. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning the severity and range of symptoms are different for each person. Most of which doesn't feel different. They are actually more in tune with their emotions than normal people are. They just explain their emotions differently than most. 

Below are a few indicators of autism, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V.

  • No babbling or pointing by age 1

  • No single words by age 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2

  • Impaired ability to make friends with peers

  • Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others

  • Repetitive or unusual use of language

  • Abnormally intense or focused interest

  • Preoccupation with particular objects or subjects

  • Inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals

Merriam Saunders, LMFT, a psychotherapist based in California states “ASD can be thought of as something that impacts language and theory of mind,”. She continues to say “For some, the language impact means they are non-vocal or have limited language use. These are typically the [most severe] cases. Theory of mind is a fancy term for one’s ability to understand that what is in my head is not necessarily in your head, too. It is sometimes because of this difficulty that people with ASD have difficulty understanding [that] someone else might not want to talk about or hear at length about the thing they are most passionate about.”

Saunders also explains that other symptoms, such as sensory issues (difficulty with sounds, taste, touch, light), can range from severe to mild.