Autism, called Autism Spectrum Disorder is just that, a spectrum of levels of functioning and symptoms. You can have high functioning Autism to very severe autism. An Autism diagnosis can be graded at level 1, 2, or 3. Three being the worst. Children, adolescents and now adults whom have Autism can act and behave quite a bit differently from one another, however there are some common characteristics. MOST of the time, neurologically speaking with Autism, we are dealing with a right hemisphere delay with their brains. Certainly, can have delays of the left brain, however the right side will most likely be quite a bit more delayed. See our right and left-brain hemisphere function chart for more! 

Common characteristics of Autism (not in any particular order) are:

Lines objects and toys in rows

Must have a daily, weekly, monthly routine and DOES NOT like straying from it

Does not enjoy surprises

Does not necessarily enjoy new things in their lives

Parallel plays with others – meaning the child will play in a room with other kids but not play with the kids

Can come off as brash, harsh, or hurt people’s feelings by how they say things, not what they say.

Makes little to no eye contact

Is gifted with mechanical working objects

Will spontaneously start reading, as soon as 18 months

Can absorb information by simply watching and or listening to lessons in school. Very good at remembering facts and figures.

Has obsessions. For example, the individual is very good at remembering anything and everything about NFL football (see above). Ask them anything and they are the Wikipedia for it. But along with this is their constant discussing it, thinking it, and involving it in their lives to the point that it can be disruptive to day-to-day living.

Has a speech delay, late to speak by 6+ months?

Easily “triggered” when things do not go their way

Has low muscle tone – very “floppy” 

“A bull in a china shop” has poor spatial awareness. This goes with low muscle tone. So, when these children are standing or sitting, they can hardly hold themselves up. Then when asked to move and coordinate their bodies they are not aware of where they are in space and will routinely bump into furniture, walls or objects in the room.

Does not like to be touched

Does not like high pitched sounds

Does not like sports or performing anything involving physical activity

There are plenty of other traits that individuals with Autism can carry. Something to consider is are the traits that you or your child have normal? Do they disrupt your child’s daily life? Is it something that you have to “work on” with them? If so, see our other write ups and information about what could be done to increase functionality and help your loved one be even a little happier and healthier.