As the symptoms of autism can vary considerably two children with the same diagnosis can have noticeably different presentation, symptoms and strikingly different abilities and skills. Like some children with severe autism may be unable to speak at all or interact with other people whereas are some may have rich vocabularies and can talk about some specific subjects in great detail (but more as monologue and not as a conversation with others).
The signs and symptoms of autism usually start in early infancy (12-18 months) but most children are diagnosed with this behavioural developmental disorder, by the time they start preschool or school. Some children may have normal development in the first few months or years of life and then unexpectedly may become withdrawn, aggressive or lose their language skills.
Although every child with autism may have a different presentation and unique pattern of behaviour, some of the common autism symptoms include:
Children with autism have problems or difficulty with social interactions like;
Autism affects communication and the child may show communication problems such as;
These children have pattern of repetitive behavior with narrow, restricted interests and behavioral problems such as;
Several other features and behaviours may be noted in a person with autism, such as-
If a child has autism it does not mean that the intelligence quotient (IQ) is going to be low because autism can occur at all intelligence levels. Most children (75%) with autism have below average IQ, but about 25% have average or above average intelligence and some autistic individuals can have extraordinary intelligence in a specific area such as mathematics. The performance IQ tends to be better than the verbal IQ.
About 25% to 35% of children can develop seizures which can be difficult to treat. Autistic children with mental retardation or with a family history of autism are at higher risk of developing seizures.
Children with Asperger syndrome (AS) (another disorder in the autism spectrum group) also have impairment in language and communication skills, repetitive or restrictive patterns of thought and behavioural problems like children with autism. With maturity some autistic children with less severe problems can show improvement and lead normal or almost-normal lives. But many children continue to have difficulty with language or social skills, and the behavioural problem may worsen.
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