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What Are Autism Spectrum Disorders?

The term Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) refers to the range that experts put people in

, based on the various autistic traits that they have. The "low end" of the spectrum includes all of the major characteristics of Autism. Meanwhile, the "high end" of ASD includes fully-socialized people whose behavior is nearly entirely "normal."

While there are several symptoms of ASD, here are some of the most common ones:

1. Communicative Impairment

a. Difficulty comprehending the meaning of figures of speech

People with Autism often have difficulty understanding the implied meaning of various figures of speech. These include:

antithesescolloquialismshumorhyperboleidiomsmetaphorsparadoxessarcasmslang This is due to the abstract nature of such language functions. The verbal communication of people with Autism tends to be quite literal. To them, the words that they say only have literal meaning. However, the good news is that people with Autism can often be taught the meaning of different figures of speech. This will improve their overall communication skills with other people.

b. Inability to comprehend non-verbal communication

Children with ASD often don't naturally develop the ability to communication by using non-verbal communication. That can significantly impact a person's overall communication skills, since non-verbal communication comprises up to about three-fourths of a person's total communication. People with ASD often avoid eye contact when talking with someone. Sometimes they are unable to perform gestures such as pointing at an object or event. Vocal outbursts often result due a person with ASD becoming frustrated about his or her inability to communicate by using non-verbal communication effectively.

c. Repetition of phrases or sentences

People with Autism often make statements whose meaning and context seem incorrect. This can be due to various causes, such as simply hearing a certain word, phrase, or sentence. It can also result from various sources, such as people, commercials, or TV programs.

2. Imaginative Impairment

a. use of poetic conversation

This involves the expression of strong feelings and thoughts, and sometimes involves rhyme and rhythm.

b. intense focus

This typically involves intense focus on certain things and certain activities.

c. strict adherence to a routine

These routines aren't just ordinary day-to-day schedules, but instead tend to involve rituals and compulsions that can seem absolutely necessary to people with ASD.

d. inability to think abstractly

Just as people with Autism often have difficulty with figures of speech, so they also often have difficulty with the ability to think abstractly. As a result, instruction about abstract concepts is typically done by using concrete visuals.

e. excessive attention to details

Those people with ASD often show a keen sense of attention to detail. This can provide pros and cons in their day-to-day lives. However, it's important to note that it also can be an asset in the job market, where the skill is an extremely valued one.

3. Social Impairment

a. inability to notice tricks and scams

b. indifference or failure to make friends

c. lack of empathy

d. awkwardness

e. avoidance of eye contact

f. awkward social interactions

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