Did you know that about one in 68 children in the United States has an ASD, according to the CDC? Additionally, boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls. The reality is that there’s actually quite a bit of confusion over what the autism spectrum even is.
Who better to sum it up than the team at autismspeaks.org? Here’s what they have to say: “Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.”
The Mayo Clinic notes that it is “a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others.”
Symptoms of ASD
Generally speaking, a child will exhibit signs of ASD around age 2, making autism a developmental disorder, although it is something that can be diagnosed at any age. So what makes autism a spectrum? To put it simply, it’s because different people experience a wide variety of symptoms, and those symptoms vary in their severity. In other words, the symptoms can range from trouble communicating to difficulty taking cues.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “People with ASD have difficulty with social communication and interaction, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors.” They go on to note that not all people with autism will display all of these behaviors, but that many of them will show several. Some symptoms of ASD can include social communication and interaction behaviors, restrictive and repetitive behaviors, and more. The symptoms can further be broken down to include behaviors such as “making inconsistent eye contact,” “talking at length about a favorite subject without noticing that others are not interested or without giving others a chance to respond,” “being more or less sensitive than other people to sensory input, such as light, noise, clothing, or temperature,” or even “being able to learn things in detail and remember information for long periods of time.”
Other Patterns of Behavior
Mayo Clinic further breaks down some of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder into patterns of behavior, and these can vary significantly from one person to the next. In some instances, a child or adult with autism will develop specific routines or rituals and then become disturbed at small changes. Others will be fixated on an object with an intense level of focus.
As with many other things in life, the best thing to do if you suspect that your child may be exhibiting signs of autism is to see a doctor. The Mayo Clinic also notes that “The symptoms associated with the disorder can also be linked with other developmental disorders” and that “signs of autism spectrum disorder often appear early in development when there are obvious delays in language skills and social interactions.”
If you notice any of these things, the best course of action is to schedule an appointment with a doctor as early on as possible.
Developing a Daily Living Skills Checklist
Although there are often issues with communication and social interactions, the good news is that the Assessment of Functional Living Skills has been designed specifically to help promote a pathway to independence. Assessment protocols include Basic Living Skills, Home Skills, Community Participation Skills, School Skills, Vocational Skills, and Independent Living Skills. The courses are designed for people from elementary school all the way through adulthood.
The AFLS is a tool, tracking system, and curriculum guide to help teach children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities in order to provide them with the tools they need to be more independent. Parents, caregivers, and educators alike have used our tools to great success. Whether you’re the parent of a child with autism or you’re a teacher at a school, having the tools you need to help your learners can make all the difference in the world.
Highly regarded as the most versatile assessment system that is designed specifically to work for the largest number of people, the Assessment of Functional Living Skills Protocols are able to be utilized any time, anywhere. It’s easy to understand and simple to use, and its affordability and customizability make it an asset for helping to create a pathway to independence. Be sure to check out some success stories, and stay tuned for more.