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Sunday, 7 February 2016

What Are the Symptoms of Severe Autism?

By Richard Nilsen      (28/1/2015)

A doctor, psychiatrist or school psychologist may assist in diagnosing a child with autism. The symptoms of autism usually show up by age three, tend to affect males more than females and help define the particular bio-neurological disorder a child may have within the “autism spectrum disorder.” At the mild end of the spectrum, an Asperger syndrome child may have better communication skills, and a severely autistic child may have debilitating handicaps in the three main areas of communication, social skills and behaviors.

Communication Problems

A severely autistic child may show no ability to communicate with others. According to Mayo Clinic staff, language isn’t just delayed, it may not develop at all, or the child may lose previous language skills. The severely autistic child may only repeat words and phrases others use with no functional meaning attached (echolalia) in a sing-song or odd repetition. The child may not show any non-verbal communication skills with inappropriate body language, lack of eye contact and ignoring of other speakers, as if deaf.

Lack of Social Skills

The child with severe autism not only doesn’t have age-appropriate play-learn skills, she may ignore the existence of others or strike out at those nearby. The Autism Society website states such children tend to fixate on objects rather than people, seem to have no interest in any peer relationships and seem unable to engage in play activities. While each child with autism is somewhat different, each one tends to be self-absorbed, resists physical contact and ignores the existence of others. The child will not respond to her name and seems to be in her own little world.

Behavioral Problems

The child with severe autism will enact abnormal and self-destructive behaviors, sometimes into adulthood. The National Autism Association states the child tends to repeat movements in a hypnotic, trance-like manner like turning, hand-flapping or hitting himself. The child may need to wear a helmet to keep from harming himself and seems impervious to pain. He may react with fear and as if in pain to non-threatening noises or objects while ignoring real danger like fire or an oncoming automobile.

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