Lesson 24 : Pervasive Developmental Disorders or Autism Spectrum Disorders
Common Problems in Autism Spectrum
While not part of autism’s official diagnostic criteria, kids on the autism spectrum often suffer from one or more of the following problems:
Sensory Problems - Many children with ASDs either under react or overreact to sensory stimuli. At times they may ignore people speaking to them, even to the point of appearing deaf. However, at other times they may be disturbed by even the softest sounds. Sudden noises such as a ringing telephone can be upsetting, and they may respond by covering their ears and making repetitive noises to drown out the offending sound. Children on the autism spectrum also tend to be highly sensitive to touch and to texture.
Emotional Difficulties – Kids with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions or expressing them appropriately. For instance, your child may start to yell, cry, or laugh hysterically for no apparent reason. When stressed, he or she may exhibit disruptive or even aggressive behavior (breaking things, hitting others, or harming him or herself).
Uneven Cognitive Abilities - The autism spectrum disorders occur at all intelligence levels. However, even kids with normal to high intelligence often have unevenly developed cognitive skills. Not surprisingly, verbal skills tend to be weaker than nonverbal skills. In addition, children with ASDs typically do well on tasks involving immediate memory or visual skills, while tasks involving symbolic or abstract thinking are more difficult.