Understanding Autism & The Challenges For An Autistic Person

There are many different terms to describe a person with autism. One of the different names for autism is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), this is the medical name for the syndrome. An alternative term is autism spectrum condition (ASC). Asperger syndrome is an obsolete term used to describe people with higher than normal intelligence.


The term Asperger’s is no longer used by doctors to diagnose people with a form of autism. But your diagnosis remains the same if you were diagnosed with Asperger’s. According to an Autism Parenting magazine, autistic people might have a hard time dealing with flashing lights and loud noises. They might also have difficulty communicating and socializing with other people.

What Is Autism?

Autism is a permanent developmental disability that influences the way a person conveys their message across and socializes with the community. No two autistic individuals are alike, this is why it is called a spectrum condition. There are some common traits but each person has their exceptional abilities and weaknesses. Let’s look at some of the areas where autistic people face some challenges in their life.

Difficulties In Verbal Communication

An autistic individual can experience difficulty comprehending both a verbal conversation and physical gestures. They may not be able to make out the subtle differences in tonality, volume, and implicit inferences in a conversation. They find it hard to comprehend that a speaker might have meant something completely different from the actual meaning of the words put together in a sentence for example, “go break a leg”.

In addition to not being able to understand simple expressions, autism is four to five times more prevalent in boys than girls. The signs of autism become obvious at the age of two or three years when a child starts to develop verbal communication skills. One of the earliest signs is that a child does not respond when their name is called. They might continue to do whatever they were doing completely ignoring the person who called out their name.

Another sign is that the child might fail to maintain eye contact. Besides these indications, a child might repeat words or phrases uttered by people in their surroundings. This behavior is called echolalia. People with autism can also have difficulty keeping up with the current conversation and might say something completely irrelevant to the situation at hand.

Some people with this condition can speak in a very flat and monotonous tone without any gestures or physical expressions on their faces. Similarly, they also have a hard time understanding gestures like waving goodbye or a thumbs up.

Persistent Behavior

A person with autism thrives on routine. They can get easily agitated when something out of the ordinary happens. For example, they can get increasingly annoyed if they are used to a certain morning routine and it is not followed accordingly on a certain day. One way they can exhibit this displeasure is by showing little or no interest in the change of routine.

They can show other symptoms like repeatedly flapping their hands, swinging their legs, or swaying their chair in a certain manner. On the other hand, they can show an exaggerated interest in a specific object or a part of that object. A toy like a Rubik’s cube could become a favorite pastime or extraordinarily annoying for them. 

Origins of Autism

There is no single cause of autism. Researchers have been unable to identify the exact cause of autism. Some of the reasons why it can occur are due to genetics. A person is more likely to have the condition if they have a parent or sibling that has the condition.

Autism can occur if a child has been conceived by an older couple. Another reason for the condition is that if the child is born with a lower than average birth weight. It can also occur if the individual has had a serious injury to the head because of an accident. In this scenario, the individual can also have other conditions like epilepsy in addition to autism.

Autism & Other Conditions

Autism can occur in coordination with many other conditions. You have to understand that autism is a condition that affects the functioning of the brain. The different parts of the brain work together to function naturally. It is always the case that when one part of the brain does not perform properly it has an equal and opposite effect on a different part of it.

Some of the conditions that can occur with autism are epilepsy, ADHD, depression, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, and difficulty falling asleep. Sometimes it might seem like that the person is exhibiting this behavior on purpose. But there can be situations when a person does not have any control over their actions. It is important to understand that it is equally disturbing and upsetting for the person who has the condition as it is for the rest of the people around them.

Taking Care Of A Child With Autism

Finding out that your child has autism can be startling and frustrating at the same time. Parents can go through different phases while caring for their children. Sometimes they might be exceptionally sensitive to the needs of their child. At other times they might just want their child to act normally.

Autism is becoming a more and more common condition from the turn of the century. Parents need to work together with medical professionals to make sure that they understand the effects of using the latest technologies on their children. Parents might also want to monitor their child’s interaction with other people who do not understand the difficulties of an autistic person. Medical professionals can explain specific methods and practices to help an autistic person overcome the daily challenges of life. It is important to understand that each autistic individual has a unique version of the condition.

Autism & Challenges Learning In School

Contrary to popular belief, the classroom is a remarkably complicated and problematic environment for an autistic person. Educators need to cater to the needs of the individual with a sympathetic understanding of the condition. Parents also need to make sure that the school does not use flashy displays of bright lights and loud sounds to educate their children. An autistic child might have a higher resistance to learning but once the ideas set in they will be difficult to replace.

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