Each person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is unique and will have different abilities. Symptoms caused by ASDs might be very mild in one person and quite severe in another.
Individuals with severe autism conditions may have serious cognitive disability, sensory problems and symptoms of extremely repetitive and unusual behaviour. This can include tantrums, self-injury, defensiveness and aggression. Without appropriate intervention, these symptoms may be very persistent and difficult to change. Living or working with a person with severe autism can be very challenging, requiring tremendous patience and understanding of the condition.
Individuals with mild autism conditions, however, may seem more like they have personality differences, making it challenging to form relationships.
The primary symptoms of autism include problems with communication and social interaction, as well as repetitive interests and activities.
Here are some of the characteristics that may be present.
Strengths exhibited by individuals with autism
- Non-verbal reasoning skills
- Reading skills
- Perceptual motor skills
- Drawing skills
- Computer interest and skills
- Exceptional memory
- Visual Spatial abilities
- Music skills
Weaknesses exhibited by individuals with autism
The above exceptional skills may be combined with subtle or significant delays in other areas of development. All individuals with the diagnosis demonstrate some of the following:
- Impairment in social relationships
- Deficits in communication/language
- Perseveration on interests and activities
- Dependence on routine
- Abnormal responses to sensory stimulation
- Behaviour problems
- Variability of intellectual functioning
- Uneven development profile
- Difficulties in sleeping, toileting and eating
- Immune irregularities
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Gastrointestinal problems