A disability that includes characteristics across a very broad spectrum is autism and often you will not notice the individual’s disability. You could not identify this disability however it could be identified due to sensory problems, behaviour, social skills and communication or language. The fact that it is not physically recognized often present problems for the individual affected depending on severity.
You will find autism level from very mild to very severe and in worst case these individuals could appear unaware of others and appear or be non-verbal. Individuals with mild autism are often very intelligent and appear smart, however you will notice oddities when they socially interact. Sufferers of autism have three main areas where problems appear.
- Excessive physical under activity or over activity
- Intensely interested in specific topics like animals, cars, movies, trains, etc.
- Unusual strong attachment to specific objects, spinning of objects or fiddling with objects
- Susceptible to sensory overload and easily upset by touch, too much activity at once, crowds or noises
- Preference for routine and finding change difficult
- No sense of danger
- Use non-verbal communication or difficulty in eye contact
- Preference to be alone or awkward socially
- Difficulty in portraying feelings or needs
- Incapable of following multiple instructions
- Does not understand verbal and social innuendos and taking communication verbally
- Crying or laughing without reason
- Less responsive to a request
- Repeat phrases and words often completely out of context
When you know an individual with autism or have a child with autism you must be clear where behaviour is concerned. Always follow simple and clear rules and whenever inappropriate behaviour occurs always repeat the rules set. Even though difficult you must learn to ignore any small disruption of misbehaviour and instead consistently praise improvement and good behaviour.
Frequent and consistent activity and interaction are essential as a person with autism would not sit still and listen attentively for prolonged periods and never expect too much too soon. Being consistent with a person with autism is not the answer but it will certainly make life much easier for all involved including the afflicted individual.