If you have noticed that a child is acting out in social situations and is unable to express their emotions and feelings, they may have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism affects the social development of children and has several symptoms. These include difficulties with language and repetitive movements. Children with ASD may also display special talents or skills that are not apparent to others.
Autism is a disorder of social development
Autism is a complex disorder that severely impacts a child’s social development. It has significant consequences on an individual’s life and family. Many people with autism are socially isolated, intellectually challenged, and unable to have a family of their own. More research is needed to understand the causes of autism and its symptoms, which will lead to better interventions and preventative measures. These findings will help individuals with autism reach their full developmental potential.
According to the DSM-5, autistic children have three severity levels, which describe the support needed to function in the general community. Severity levels vary in different contexts, and they may also change over time. However, these severity ratings do not diagnose an individual’s autism or determine whether he or she qualifies for services.
Autistic children have atypical motor development
Motor issues are common among autistic children. These difficulties may start as early as infancy, when the autistic child’s arms are weaker and move less slowly than normal infants’. By four months of age, the typical 4-month-old can maintain his or her head in line with his or her shoulders, but autistic infants are not strong enough to hold their head up in this way. Even at fourteen months, these children often struggle to stand and walk. Likewise, autistic children may have difficulty grasping objects or clapping.
Researchers have suggested that some mutations in the autism gene are responsible for autistic motor problems. One study suggests that every month that a child is late to start walking increases the risk of a spontaneous mutation in the autism gene by 17 percent. Children with’syndromic’ autism also tend to have motor issues. For example, people with Phelan-McDermid syndrome tend to have low muscle tone and a characteristic gait.
They have difficulties with language
Language development in autistic children is slower than in other children, and they often exhibit significant problems with spoken language. In addition, they often do not use gestures to make themselves understood. Instead, they tend to communicate mostly by saying “yes” or “no,” or by asking for something. They are also less likely to use language for social purposes, such as making eye contact or letting someone else have a turn.
The DSM-5 guidelines do not refer to every aspect of the disorder, but they acknowledge that Autistic children often experience difficulty with language. Pragmatic language deficits are particularly problematic in children with autism, and they can make it difficult for clinicians to accurately assess them. The problem is that most of the widely used diagnostic instruments are developed by studying children with generalized intellectual disabilities and do not take into account subtle differences in language.
They have repetitive movements
Children with autism have repetitive movements that may be more intense than the movements of typical children. These movements can also persist into adulthood. For example, a typical adult might exhibit repetitive movements and a passionate interest in bands or sports teams. Although repetitive behaviors are not specific to autism, they are seen in many children with autism spectrum disorder and are typically accompanied by a lower cognitive ability.
These repetitive movements may provide a comforting effect, which may help a child cope with stressful events. They may also provide the nervous system with an arousal effect.
They have less conflict in their relationships with their siblings
Compared with non-autistic children, autistic children experience less conflict in their relationships with their siblings. This is in line with findings from studies involving siblings of children with autism. However, siblings of children with autism report different experiences. In some cases, siblings feel that they are less loved or understood than the autistic sibling. In such cases, siblings may feel frustrated and betrayed by their sibling.
While there are fewer conflict-free relationships between autistic children and their siblings, sibling relationships of children without autism are not without conflict. Research conducted by Tomeny and Petalas has shown that siblings with autism report lower levels of conflict in their relationships with their siblings than children without autism. Siblings with autism also report higher levels of distressing emotions.