Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by challenges with social skills, communication, and educational opportunities. The term autism has become a reductive diagnostic term, but it should be understood that the word does not necessarily describe the condition itself. Rather, autism is a feature of neurodiversity, a different way of being. In other words, autism is a disability of the brain that can affect all areas of a person’s life.
Autism is a developmental disorder
The symptoms of autism are quite varied, and may appear as early as the first year of life. A child may exhibit stiffness or limping when picked up, for example, and may show little or no social interaction. Autism can also cause a child to not talk much or engage in pretend play.
Children with autism do not form normal social connections and may seem to be isolated, although they can bond with their caregivers. This limited socialization may lead to misdiagnosis, as these children do not seek out their peers. It may also be difficult to recognize if a child is showing these symptoms when they seem to be normal.
Although there is no clear cause for autism, some researchers believe it is a combination of factors. Genetics plays a role in autism, and autism may be passed on from parents to children. However, the vast majority of people who have autism do not have a strong family history. Environmental factors may play a role in autism as well. Exposure to toxins, heavy metals, or air pollution may also cause autism.
It affects social skills
The ability to interact with others is a vital skill for a child with autism. They must be able to make friends and carry on simple conversations. Without these skills, children with autism are likely to seem uncaring and rude. They also have difficulty maintaining eye contact and understanding social interactions. They often don’t wait their turn to speak or cut others off in line.
Another skill that autism-affected children lack is theory of mind, the ability to understand other people’s thoughts and emotions. Development of this theory of mind is delayed in individuals with autism, which has a negative effect on social interactions and the ability to understand the effect of our own behaviour. Because of this, individuals with autism often have a difficult time recognising social cues and have a hard time learning to adjust their behavior in different contexts. While these skills are often lacking in autistic children, it is possible to learn how to communicate with others and improve social skills.
It affects communication
A major characteristic of autistic people is their difficulty communicating their needs and wants. They are often unsociable and display reduced interest in the interests of others. They may spend a lot of time talking about themselves and may not even bother to ask the other person if they are interested in what they are talking about. Similarly, they may not be able to read facial expressions correctly or predict the behavior of others.
Children with autism need to learn how to read facial expressions and the tone of voice. This will help them understand others better later in life. In addition, it will help them understand the feelings of others.
It affects educational opportunities
Children with autism often struggle to focus, pay attention, and organize their time in school. They are unable to process information in a systematic way and may only remember details of stories without understanding the main ideas. To address these challenges, parents and educators can help children with autism understand the importance of putting information in context. These strategies can help them focus, manage frustration, and learn about the larger picture. They can also help them understand how their behavior affects others.
Some children with autism may need more support or be taught in a different educational setting. In addition, parents may choose to hire an educational lawyer or special education advocate to help them navigate the educational system. There are many factors that go into determining the proper school setting for a child with autism, including their personality. For example, some autistic students learn better in a school environment while others thrive in a more home-like setting. It is also important to consider the safety of your child while making the decision.
It affects employment opportunities
For people with autism, employment opportunities can be a big challenge. In the United States, unemployment and underemployment rates are extremely high. In addition to the economic challenges, many autistic individuals face the stigma that accompanies the disorder. Luckily, there are steps employers can take to accommodate an employee with autism.
First, employers should recognize that people with autism have great skills and may excel in a wide variety of careers. Many famous people with autism have mastered different professions, such as musicians and artists. Likewise, some of the most successful people in the world have autism. Often, people with autism can excel in certain roles because they have exceptional memory and recall.
One study, conducted at the University of Missouri, found that young adults with autism experience the greatest barriers in finding employment. Only 50% of those surveyed reported that they would not consider hiring autistic employees.