are the symptoms?
The following areas are among those which may be affected
Language develops slowly or not at all; use of words
without attaching the usual meaning to them; gestures
used instead of words; short attention span.
The person with autism may spend time alone rather than
with others; show little interest in making friends; less
responsive to social cues such as eye contact or smiles.
Unusual reactions to physical sensations such as being
overly sensitive to touch or under responsive to pain;
sight, hearing, touch, pain, smell, taste may be affected
to a lesser or greater degree.
Lack of spontaneous or imaginative play; does not imitate
other's actions; does not initiate pretend games.
May be overactive or very passive; throw frequent
tantrums for no apparent reason; may persevere on one
single item, idea or person; apparent lack of common
sense; may show aggressive or violent behavior or injure
Accurate diagnosis of autism may be difficult because the
characteristics of this disorder may resemble those of
mental retardation, severe reactive disturbances, or
deafness. The following checklist of 14 behavioral signs
and symptoms can aid the physician in reaching his
diagnosis. Although no single item is significant alone,
if a child exhibits 7 or more of these traits, a
diagnosis of autism should be seriously considered.
normal children - or abnormal children who are not
autistic - may behave in any of these ways, autistic
children exhibit seven or more of these traits, and their
abnormal behavior is constant and inappropriate for their
age. This checklist is only one diagnostic tool for use
when considering a possible cause of autism. The patient
should also be given thorough medical, developmental and
intelligence tests. The taking of a social history is
also vital to provide the full information needed for a
in mixing with other childrenv
fear of real dangers
change in routine
needs by gesture
laughing and giggling
attachments to objects
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