By Autism Speaks
Autism’s core symptoms are:
Many people with autism have sensory issues. These typically involve over- or under-sensitivities to sounds, lights, touch, tastes, smells, pain and other stimuli.
Autism is also associated with high rates of certain physical and mental health conditions.
Social communication challenges
Children and adults with autism have difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication. For example, they may not understand or appropriately use:
Restricted and repetitive behaviors vary greatly across the autism spectrum. They can include:
By Eileen Lamb; The Autism Cafe
Autism checklist for adults
I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism as an adult. Read my post about it here. I often get asked what the signs are and if I knew I was autistic. I started to question whether I was on the autism spectrum after my son was diagnosed with severe nonverbal autism at 2 year old.
If you’re here, you probably found this post on Google looking for “Signs of autism in adults“. If you’re wondering if you are on the autism spectrum, then I hope you’ll find this list helpful. If you feel like a lot of these bullet points apply to you, you may want to follow up with a specialist for more information. Seeking a diagnosis can help. It makes me feel better having an explanation for why I’ve always felt different. I also hope it will help people be more understanding. That said, I try not to use autism as an excuse for anything. If you think you may have autism and wants to find answers for yourself, make an appointment with your PCP and try to get a referral for a specialist in autism who does therapeutic assessments. Only they can diagnose autism, and they can help you with your journey if they do.
In the meantime, if you’ve been wondering about yourself, see if most of the following autism symptoms apply to you.
Signs of high-functioning Autism (Asperger’s) in adults:
Communication (Verbal and non-verbal):
by Spectrum Sense | Oct 29, 2018 | Diagnosis |
What is The Difference Between Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder?
I see and hear this question all the time. It’s in my sensory processing groups, my autism groups, and all around the therapists’ offices. A lot of people on the spectrum have sensory issues, so what is the difference between autism and sensory processing disorder? Is there a difference?
Most parents of autistic kids say their children have sensory processing disorder, but do all kids with SPD also have autism? Are they the same thing? Why do most people with autism have so many shared symptoms with sensory processing disorder? It’s so confusing sometimes! Can you relate? When I first started this journey, all the terminology made my head hurt, so I’m going to try to make this simple.
What is sensory processing disorder?
Before we talk about similarities and differences, let’s just make sure everyone knows what SPD is in the first place. Sensory processing disorder is basically where the brain misinterprets incoming sensory signals, causing it to misfire and give the wrong response.
Imagine a kid with poor vision trying to play baseball without their glasses. When you throw the ball to them, their brain misinterprets its location. If they can’t see it clearly, they may swing the bat too late, too early, or not at all. It may cause them a huge deal of frustration, which could lead to a tantrum.
Sensory processing disorder is pretty much the same, except it includes more than just one sense. Your brain can misinterpret visual, tactile, auditory, gustatory input, or olfactory input, making it seem unbearable. Kids with sensory sensitivities are often called sensory avoiders.
The opposite can also occur. Sensory seekers are those who require much more input than usual. They may like their music too loud and their food extra spicy or sour. They may crash into things, in order to feel deep pressure, to get the tactile input they need.
Sensory processing disorder makes it difficult for the brain to respond appropriately, so it often reacts instead. This can cause stimming behaviors and meltdowns. Sadly, SPD is not recognized as a diagnosis – it is a symptom of an underlying disorder, so services are usually not covered by insurance. Parents are often encouraged to seek a medical diagnosis to figure out what the underlying cause is, but the cause cannot always be pinpointed.
What is autism?
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by difficulties in communication and social interaction, and restrictive, repetitive behaviors. Often times, these restrictive and repetitive behaviors are sensory related.
Stimming is a term that is used a lot in the autism community. A child may flap their hands, rock back and forth, bang their head, fidget, or insist on holding a particular object at all times.
Speech is often delayed in children with autism spectrum disorders, but not always. Some kids on the spectrum begin speaking at an appropriate age, but become nonverbal under stress or excitement. Others learned speech according to the developmental tables, but have trouble using it properly. Some have other speech difficulties like stuttering.
Social interaction is another area that autistic children struggle with. Since it is a spectrum, there are many ways this can present. While some kids may be very distant and seem to live inside their own world, completely oblivious to people around them, others may appear overly social because they don’t recognize social boundaries. Still others can simply be socially awkward.
So how are SPD and autism different?
Both of these disorders involve sensory problems, stimming, and meltdowns. Sensory aversions lead to sensory overload, which can cause meltdowns. Likewise, the need for sensory input can cause stimming and apparently unruly behavior, as the child tries to fill the urgent need for sensory stimuli. These types of symptoms are seen in children with autism and sensory processing disorder.
But children with autism also have issues in the areas of communication and social interaction. Sensory issues can cause an array of learning struggles and social problems. For example, certain stimming behaviors may cause other children to tease or avoid your child. But that type of social demise is different than an autistic child, who does not understand the rules and regulations of socializing appropriately. If your child has been labeled with sensory processing disorder, and they are not hitting major milestones like talking and parallel play, or if they have other communicative and social setbacks, it may be time to talk to their pediatrician about an autism evaluation.
If you’re hesitant to move too quickly in that direction, you may want to get a better understanding of autism spectrum disorders first. My autism eBook provides a comprehensive yet simple overview of the most important topics surrounding an autism diagnosis. It’s an affordable next step in your journey.
The sooner you get the answers, the sooner you can get your child the help they need to have the best possible chance at success!
What is ABA Therapy?
ABA stands for “Applied Behavior Analysis”. It’s therapy that’s based on the science of learning and behavior. Behavior analysis helps us understand how behavior works, how it’s affected by our environment and how learning happens. ABA therapy applies our understanding of how behavior works in real life situations. The goal with ABA therapy, is to increase the behaviors that are helpful and decrease the behaviors that are harmful or affect learning.
What can ABA Therapy help with?
It can help increase language and communication skills. It can also help improve attention, memory, focus, social skills and even academics!
The methods used in ABA therapy have actually been used and studied for decades. It’s been used to help children with Autism and other developmental disorders since the 1960’s.
How does it work?
ABA uses techniques to understand and change behavior. Programs and goals are designed for the individual learner. Therapy can be provided in many different locations; including in the home, at a clinic, in school or in the community. It teaches everyday life skills. The main strategy used in ABA therapy, is positive reinforcement, which encourages positive behavior changes. The overall goal is to help the individual work on skills that will allow them to become more independent and successful for a lifetime.