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List of Symptoms for High-Functioning Autism

"Is there a list of symptoms or traits associated with high functioning autism in children? We currently have suspicions that our 6 y.o. son may be on the autism spectrum and are wondering if we should take the next step and have him assessed."   

Below is a list of common traits among children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's. However, no child will exhibit all of these traits. Also, the degree (i.e., mild to severe) to which any particular trait is experienced will vary from child to child.

Emotions and Sensitivities:   
  1. An emotional incident can determine the mood for the day.
  2. Becomes overwhelmed with too much verbal direction.
  3. Calmed by external stimulation (e.g., soothing sound, brushing, rotating object, constant pressure).
  4. Desires comfort items (e.g., blankets, teddy, rock, string).
  5. Difficulty with loud or sudden sounds.
  6. Emotions can pass very suddenly or are drawn out for a long period of time.
  7. Inappropriate touching of self in public situations.
  8. Intolerance to certain food textures, colors or the way they are presented on the plate (e.g., one food can’t touch another).
  9. Laughs, cries or throws a tantrum for no apparent reason.
  10. May need to be left alone to release tension and frustration.    
  11. Resists change in the environment (e.g., people, places, objects).
  12. Sensitivity or lack of sensitivity to sounds, textures, tastes, smells or light.
  13. Tends to either tune out or break down when being reprimanded.
  14. Unusually high or low pain tolerance.

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook



School-Related Skills:   
  1. Difficulty transitioning from one activity to another in school.   
  2. Difficulty with fine motor activities (e.g., coloring, printing, using scissors, gluing).
  3. Difficulty with reading comprehension (e.g., can quote an answer, but unable to predict, summarize or find symbolism).
  4. Excellent rote memory in some areas.
  5. Exceptionally high skills in some areas and very low in others.
  6. Resistance or inability to follow directions.
  7. Short attention span for most lessons.

Health and Movement:     
  1. Allergies and food sensitivities.
  2. Apparent lack of concern for personal hygiene (e.g., hair, teeth, body odor).
  3. Appearance of hearing problems, but hearing has been checked and is fine.
  4. Constipation.
  5. Difficulty changing from one floor surface to another (e.g., carpet to wood, sidewalk to grass).
  6. Difficulty moving through a space (e.g., bumps into objects or people).
  7. Frequent gas, burping or throwing up.
  8. Incontinence of bowel and/or bladder.
  9. Irregular sleep patterns.
  10. Odd or unnatural posture (e.g., rigid or floppy).
  11. Seizure activity.
  12. Unusual gait.
  13. Walks on toes.
  14. Walks without swinging arms freely.




Social Skills:    
  1. Aversion to answering questions about themselves.
  2. Difficulty maintaining friendships.
  3. Difficulty reading facial expressions and body language.
  4. Difficulty understanding group interactions.
  5. Difficulty understanding jokes, figures of speech or sarcasm.
  6. Difficulty understanding the rules of conversation. 
  7. Does not generally share observations or experiences with others.
  8. Finds it easier to socialize with people that are older or younger, rather than peers of their own age.
  9. Gives spontaneous comments which seem to have no connection to the current conversation.
  10. Makes honest, but inappropriate observations.
  11. Minimal acknowledgement of others.    
  12. Overly trusting or unable to read the motives behinds peoples’ actions.
  13. Prefers to be alone, aloft or overly-friendly.
  14. Resistance to being held or touched.
  15. Responds to social interactions, but does not initiate them.
  16. Seems unable to understand another’s feelings.
  17. Talks excessively about one or two topics (e.g., dinosaurs, movies, etc.).
  18. Tends to get too close when speaking to someone (i.e., lack of personal space).
  19. Unaware of/disinterested in what is going on around them.
  20. Very little or no eye contact.

Behaviors:   
  1. Causes injury to self (e.g., biting, banging head).   
  2. Difficulty attending to some tasks.
  3. Difficulty sensing time (e.g., knowing how long 5 minutes is or 3 days or a month).
  4. Difficulty transferring skills from one area to another.
  5. Difficulty waiting for their turn (e.g., standing in line).
  6. Extreme fear for no apparent reason.
  7. Fascination with rotation. 
  8. Feels the need to fix or rearrange things.
  9. Fine motor skills are developmentally behind peers (e.g., hand writing, tying shoes, using scissors, etc.).
  10. Frustration is expressed in unusual ways.
  11. Gross motor skills are developmentally behind peers (e.g., riding a bike, skating, running).
  12. Inability to perceive potentially dangerous situations.
  13. Many and varied collections.
  14. Obsessions with objects, ideas or desires.
  15. Perfectionism in certain areas.
  16. Play is often repetitive.
  17. Quotes movies or video games.
  18. Ritualistic or compulsive behavior patterns (e.g., sniffing, licking, watching objects fall, flapping arms, spinning, rocking, humming, tapping, sucking, rubbing clothes).
  19. Transitioning from one activity to another is difficult.
  20. Unexpected movements (e.g., running out into the street).
  21. Unusual attachment to objects.
  22. Verbal outbursts.

Linguistic and Language Development:     
  1. Abnormal use of pitch, intonation, rhythm or stress while speaking
  2. Difficulty understanding directional terms (e.g., front, back, before, after).   
  3. Difficulty whispering.
  4. Makes verbal sounds while listening (i.e., echolalia).
  5. May have a very high vocabulary.
  6. Often uses short, incomplete sentences.
  7. Pronouns are often inappropriately used. 
  8. Repeats last words or phrases several times.
  9. Speech is abnormally loud or quiet.
  10. Speech started very early and then stopped for a period of time.
  11. Uses a person’s name excessively when speaking to them.
 
Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
 
 
More articles for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

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Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

--------------------------------------------------------------

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

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Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…

------------------------------------------------------------

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Click here
to read the full article...

------------------------------------------------------------

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

Click here for the full article...
 
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A child with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can have difficulty in school because, since he fits in so well, many adults may miss the fact that he has a diagnosis. When these children display symptoms of their disorder, they may be seen as defiant or disruptive.

Click here for the full article...

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Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.

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Creating Effective Behavior Plans for Kids on the Spectrum: Pointers for Parents

Inappropriate behavior is common among many children with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism, especially when comorbid conditions exist as well (e.g., ADHD, OCD, anxiety). Knowing how to create and utilize behavior plans improves the home environment on multiple levels. The behavior plan is a great management tool for kids engaging in unwanted behavior. It serves to teach and reinforce positive behaviors in the “special needs” youngster, and is a helpful way of documenting the success of the plan.

CLICK HERE for the full article...
 

Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism in Females

The most recent research suggests that there may be as many females with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism as there are males... 




Resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's:

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book


==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... I agree. Our daughter has it clear as day. Many doctors have diagnosed it. Her school says she doesn't have it being she isn't destructive or play with trains. Ridiculous. It can be different for girls.
•    Anonymous said... I feel the same way, same boat for sure
•    Anonymous said... I think there is an educational issue with some so called specialists in these types of area. We see a lot of lower lever non graduate college taught specialists and some degree areas who are taught by other so called specialists, who were taught by specialists and so on. But subjects like this struggle to have a set of physical rules like maths and sciences, historically they have some rules and other assumptions based on instinct, but if a tutor gets that instinct wrong, and teaches that we tend to end up with a group of so called professionals often in a geographical area all taught and believing and preaching that same misconception. Over recent years it seems problems like this are starting to get written rules agreed throughout the world which appear to show conclusive proof whether someone is or is not a sufferer which helps tremedously, but we are still stuck with so called specialists taugfht from the paste who refuse to relearn teh principals of the vague areas of tehir trade.
•    Anonymous said... Kelly Fay - I am there with you. Finding my son's Aspergers, has given me many answers as well. Comfort and self acceptance
•    Anonymous said... Since learning about our sons HFA, I realise I am on that spectrum too and can clearly see why childhood was so hard. I have a wonderful understanding husband who just accepts my quirks and ocd
•    Anonymous said... We had an "expert" tell us "it couldn't possibly be Aspergers !! She's a girl !!" Then told us she has sensory issues, lacked social skills, has motor skill difficulties, obsessive interests, lacks empathy and has an anxiety disorder, but she clearly couldn't have Aspergers

Post your comment below…



My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…

Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Click here
to read the full article...

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

Click here for the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content