What might be common characteristics of Autism regarding social interaction?
Avoiding eye contact
Differences reading or displaying emotion
Preference for own company/spending majority of time alone
Challenges with the ability to read social cues, find difficult to initiate, maintain or conclude conversation
Difficulty with turn-taking in conversation – tendency to speak only about own interests, not answer questions or interrupt
Difficulty with interacting with people on a group basis. Discomfort in social gatherings such as parties
Tendency to socialise through interests i.e. membership of a club
Need for consistency in social situations i.e. games must always be played by the same rules, inability to cope with unexpected events in a social situation (person arriving who was not expected), learning some lines of conversation which can be inserted into specific social situation.
Common Characteristics of Autism: How to autistic people communicate with others
Either pre-verbal, limited verbal or highly verbal
Problems with word finding
Unusual use of words/different understanding of vocabulary
Tendency to take phrases/idioms literally
Tendency to speak in monotone tone of voice or an unusual accent/voice experimentation
May not use or understand facial expressions
May not use or conform to basic sense of humour
Find it difficult to articulate frustrations/causes of upset
Common Characteristics of Autism: How do autistic people behave?
Requires routine and certainty in day-to-day life – can become distressed at breakdown in routine
May have “meltdowns” if routine is disrupted, surroundings are difficult or if they are struggling to communicate their frustrations
Unconventional play – collecting objects, sorting, colour coding or lining up are classic examples. (Need for predictability)
Determination to win or come 1st in games. Habit of interrupting others’ turns.
May have a special interest or obsessive topic to which they wish to study, talk about, play with all the time
Daydreaming or floating/walking around without purpose
May be very hyperactive
Tendency to run, jump, move erratically or flap hands (linked to sensory processing)
Common Characteristics of Autism: How does autism effect taste, touch, smell, sound and sight?
Struggle with/cannot bear certain sounds, smells or textures.
Equally may be attracted to others and may have favourite texture, sound, smell.
May eat only very specific food
Find open spaces hard to process. Manage better in enclosed surroundings
May use voice experimentation
High pain threshold
Common Characteristics of Autism: What are autistic people’s strengths? While this list is by no means universal and will vary depending on the person, autistic people often display the following characteristics.
Intense and highly focused interests which can be channelled into lifelong passions such as music, drawing or environmentalism
Intense focus when engaged in a task
Can this be improved? Contact [email protected] if you have any suggestions for this article.