Awareness of autistic behavior problems leads to proper management of this developmental disorder.
Autistic Behavior in Adults
Autism has three core features, namely impaired speech and non-verbal communication, difficulty in social interactions and repetitive behavior.
- It may begin in early childhood but diagnosis may not be imminent until the person reaches school age.
- Inability to put oneself in a social environment
- Preference to be alone
- Aloof manner
- Unresponsive, as if acting deaf
- Minimal or no eye contact
- Difficulty in expressing needs
- Abnormal response such as tantrums, extreme distress but with no reason
- Noticeable over-activity or under-activity
- Spinning of objects
- Repetitive rocking of body
- Autistic patients maintain a routine and dislike change, opting for the same kind of food or clothes.
Autistic Behavior Symptoms in Children and Adolescents
- A child with autism would rather play alone and makes contact when she needs something.
- The lack of friends is apparent among patients with autism.
- Autistic individuals talk differently, often repeating words that they hear. They also talk to themselves.
- Repetitive body movements are typical young autistic patients but become less frequent when they mature.
- Self-injurious behavior such as biting themselves has a tendency to increase through the years.
- They dislike bright lights due to their highly sensitive sensory systems. Others do not like loud sounds and textures in the food they eat.
- Autistic adolescents fear facing change, such as a new haircut or a change in the layout of their bedroom.
Autistic Behavior Management
While there is no cure for autism, special education and behavioral management gains a wide acceptance from patients.
- The scope of the treatment covers occupational therapy and speech therapy, which must be done in early childhood.
- Medications are given to treat seizures and emotional problems linked to autism.
- List of medicines include antidepressants, anti-psychotic drugs, stimulants and anti-convulsants
- Applied behavior analysis or ABA was designed by autism therapists to correct behavior and teach the patient skills to effectively handle stressful situations.
- Behavioral management is based on the fundamentals of reinforcement and reward system. If the patient behaves properly, he or she will get a reward.
- Other therapies complement the main course of treatment. Common forms of complementary therapies include using art, music, animals and sensory integration.
- Communication with the therapist is important for the parents of an autistic individual, in order to be clear on the goals of the therapy.