Autism Solutions of Ontario

Many parents wonder if their child is Autistic and are looking for an answer.
 
Although, we do not provide diagnostic services, we can provide parents with a list of characteristics of Autism. Most people display a few of these characteristics, but when there are many, or those that are present cause significant problems, we would consider that person to be a candidate for our program. 

Is it Autism?

What is our goal?

The Characteristics of Autism:


Social Skills:

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


Language:

  • Abnormal use of pitch, intonation, rhythm or stress while speaking.
  • Speech is abnormally loud or quiet.
  • Difficulty whispering.
  • Repeats last words or phrases several times.  Makes verbal
  • sounds while listening (echolalia).
  • Often uses short, incomplete sentences.
  • Pronouns are often inappropriately used. 
  • May have a very high vocabulary.
  • Uses a person’s name excessively when speaking to them
  • (“Mary, we are having lunch. Right, Mary?”).
  • Speech started very early and then stopped for a period of time.
  • Difficulty understanding directional terms (front, back, before, after).


Behaviours:

  • Obsessions with objects, ideas or desires.
  • Ritualistic or compulsive behaviour patterns (sniffing, licking, watching objects fall, flapping arms, spinning, rocking, humming, tapping, sucking, rubbing clothes).
  • Fascination with rotation.
  • Play is often repetitive.
  • Many and varied collections.
  • Unusual attachment to objects.
  • Quotes movies or video games.
  • Difficulty transferring skills from one area to another.
  • Perfectionism in certain areas.
  • Frustration is expressed in unusual ways.
  • Feels the need to fix or rearrange things.
  • Transitioning from one activity to another is difficult.
  • Difficulty attending to some tasks.
  • Gross motor skills are developmentally behind peers (riding a bike, skating, running).
  • Fine motor skills are developmentally behind peers (handwriting, tying shoes, scissors).
  • Inability to perceive potentially dangerous situations.
  • Extreme fear (phobia) for no apparent reason.
  • Verbal outbursts.
  • Unexpected movements (running out into the street).
  • Difficulty sensing time (knowing how long ten minutes is or three days or a week).
  • Difficulty waiting for their turn (such as in a line).
  • Causes injury to self (biting, banging head).


Emotions or Sensitivities:

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


School-related skills:


  • Exceptionally high skills in some areas and very low in others.
  • Excellent rote memory in some areas.
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension (can quote an answer, but unable to predict, summarize or find symbolism).
  • Difficulty with fine motor activities (coloring, printing, scissors, gluing).
  • Short attention span for most lessons.
  • Resistance or inability to follow directions.
  • Difficulty transitioning from one activity to another in school.


Health/movement:

  • Walks on toes.
  • Unusual gait.
  • Difficulty changing from one floor surface to another (carpet to wood, sidewalk to grass).
  • Odd or unnatural posture (rigid or floppy).
  • Difficulty moving through a space (bumps into objects or people).
  • Walks without swinging arms freely.
  • Incontinence of bowel and/or bladder.
  • Constipation.
  • Frequent gas (flatulence, burping) or throwing up.
  • Appearance of hearing problems, but hearing has been checked and is fine.
  • Seizure activity.
  • Allergies and food sensitivities.
  • Irregular sleep patterns.
  • Apparent lack of concern for personal hygiene (hair, teeth, body odors).


Copyright 2009 Rocky Point Academy.  All rights  reserved. www.calgaryautism.com | Suite 230, 295 Midpark Way S.E. | Calgary, Alberta T3H 2X6. Used with permission.

Elizabeth L. Currie Shier, B.Sc., Licensed Davis Autism Approach® Facilitator/Coach
1152 Winston Churchill Blvd. Unit B, Oakville ON L6J 0A3, Canada
beth@autismsolutionontario.com  
www.autismsolutionontario.com  905 334-8740 or (905) 829-4084
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