When talking about the autism traits related to the condition, there is a list that you can use while indicating the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in a person or child.
Early intervention/surveillance and screening can be used to identify the signs and symptoms of autism. Active developmental surveillance and monitoring is a continuous process of watching the growth of the children born and the coordination between the parents and professionals to monitor the autism traits in the child before official autism diagnosis.
This article is meant to outline some autism traits common in people diagnosed with this condition and a few autistic traits specific in autistic people, together with some information regarding the tools used to analyze these autistic characteristics in people.
What are common autistic traits?
While talking about some of the common symptoms of autism, there is a broad range of symptoms as per the data associated with the person diagnosed with autism.
These symptoms start to appear at an early age, in older children and even adults.
These signs can present differently with some individuals showing significant communication and behavioral challenges while others with milder forms.
These common autism traits with proper classification are listed below:
1) Social and communication skills:
When it comes to social interaction, an autistic person can face a wide range of challenges. Some of these social traits are listed below:
i) Eye contact:
A typical trait of a person with autism is that he/she avoids making eye contact during any social interaction. These people make no eye contact or make poor eye contact.
ii) No sharing:
These people don’t like sharing and prefer to do tasks and chores alone. Furthermore, they avoid group activities and prefer to take tasks and handle things alone.
iii) Little interest in fellows:
These people prefer to keep it to themselves and have less to no interest in their peers. These people can be termed as socially awkward by their peers which can also result in loss of self-esteem.
iv) Understanding and Expressing Feelings:
They have trouble understanding the feelings of other people or expressing their own feelings till they reach the age of 3 years or older.
v) Name Calling:
The children with autism do not respond to name-calling by the time they reach the age of 9 months.
vi) Facial expressions:
The children born with autism don’t show facial expressions of happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise by the time they reach the age of 9 months.
vii) Playing interactive games and Pretend-play:
The children with autism don’t like to play interactive games like Squeak and Hide, Ball Rolling, Strolling on a Stroller, and Water Play till their age reaches 9 months.
These kids also do not like to take part in pretend playing, e.g. dressing up a doll, turning a box into something, and playing superheroes.
2) Restrictive and Repetitive Behaviors:
Showing the same behaviors with repetition and restriction is a common trait of autistic individuals. Some of these medically reviewed behaviors are listed below:
i) Disliking change:
This trait starts appearing at a very early age. The children born with autism will dislike it and get upset when their toys are lined up in a certain way, getting upset with the change of their order.
Furthermore, these kids will play with their toys the same way every time.
They also like to follow certain routines and do not like a change in them.
ii) Repetition of words and phrases:
These children will do a repetition of words and phrases over and over again, while they are trying to make a conversation.
iii) Sensory Overload:
These kids or adults perceive and feel the sensory things with more intensity than normal people. For example, they will get exhausted whenever they are exposed to loud noises, intense lights, and high temperatures.
iv) Obsessive and limited interests:
These kids have a narrow area of interest, and they only like to give attention to their specific area of interest, neglecting other areas. This trait can be well observed by teachers and parents while the kid starts his/her school. And the areas that they have interest in, they tend to develop an obsession over them.
Other common symptoms:
Unusual emotional reactions
Unusual mood changes
Excessive fear or lack of fear
Unusual sleeping and eating habits
Delay in motor skills
Delay in language skills
Delay in learning or cognitive skills
Abnormal body posturing
Abnormal voice tone
Intense focus on a single topic
Deficiency in comprehending language
Behaviors showing self-harm
Lack of empathy for others
Seizure disorder or epilepsy
Worrying too much, together with anxiety and stress
Concluding our discussion, this read gives a broad overview of some of the autism traits that are common in people. Regardless of the traits and their prevalence, this disorder is found in people of all ethnicities, races, and socioeconomic groups.
Given that autistic people need the special attention of parents, teachers, professionals, and authorities. Being a parent, you must visit a medical professional if you notice any signs of the autism traits in your child, which cannot cure the disorder but can help the child live a better life through several treatment and therapy options available.
What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Classic Autism is a complex and lifelong disability that puts an impact on social and communication skills, relationship building, and self-regulation. In short, autism results in social functioning impairment and communication disturbances.
Autism spectrum disorder comes under the category of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect the brain. Autistic people show problem behaviors in social skills, communication, and language skills, and show restrictive and repetitive behaviors.
ASD diagnosis was once considered genetic, like Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but recent research has outlined several other possible factors behind this disorder.
There are multiple causes of autism spectrum disorder, including genetic factors, nongenetic factors, and environmental risk factors.
In 2013, American Psychiatric Association grouped the disorders related to autism under one umbrella of ASD.
The official medical term of autism is ASD.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Classic Autism comes under the broad category of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) merged Classic Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) into a single category of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Autism can further be classified into mild autism or high functioning autism (mild symptoms) and low functioning autism which can extend to the level of severe autism (severe symptoms).
Therapies and Treatment Options:
There are some medically reviewed therapeutic and treatment options available for autistic people. The parents who notice some autistic symptoms in their children can go to a doctor who can choose to advice diagnosis or treatment and can give appropriate accommodations.
For example, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social skills training including social interaction, body language, etc., communication skills training,
There are several clinically significant tools available that are the diagnostic criteria and used to measure the autism traits expression in the general public, e.g. Autism Spectrum Quotient. This tool uses a self-administered questionnaire to measure the autism traits in a person having average or higher intelligence.
Broader Autism Phenotype (BAP):
Broader autism phenotype is a collection of sub-diagnostic traits of autism that are more common in the families of an autistic person, rather than the general public. Studies are done related to the estimation of the prevalence of BAP in the parents having children with autism, showing varying results.
According to the peer-reviewed studies of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (J Autism Dev Disord), people with broad autism phenotype (BAP) are considered more likely to be the close relatives of a person who is on the autism spectrum.
This research suggests that almost 14% of the general public can fall under the category of the broad autism phenotype.
Is it normal to have autistic traits?
Surprisingly, a research study showed that autistic traits are common in healthy people.
Two large studies were conducted in this regard to investigate autism and found out that traits relevant to autism spectrum disorder are prevalent in the general population.
Even though the cases of autism diagnosis are 1 in 100 children with autism on average, including mild autism or high functioning autism, low functioning and severe autism cases, the rate of people having at least one trait related to autism is up to 30% of the population.
Wrapping Up Autism Traits
In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the Autism Traits so that you can get your child the help they need as soon as possible. With early intervention, children with autism can go on to lead happy and healthy lives. If you think your child may be showing signs of autism, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help.