What is autism and how do I recognize a kid who might be diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder?

So it may sometimes be passed on to a child by their parents. Like everyone, autistic people have things they’re good at as well as things they struggle with. A common question after an autism diagnosis is what is the cause of autism. But many autistic people are as flexible as many non-autistic people who prefer sameness and routine. Similarly, it can be hard to distinguish between a neurotypical fascination with video games and an “autistic” fascination; the differences lie more in how the fascination is expressed than in the fascination itself. Autistic people may also be undersensitive to sensory input and crave loud noises or the sensation of being squeezed.

What Does Autism in Children Look Like?

CDC is committed to continuing to provide essential data on ASD, search for factors that put children at risk for ASD and possible causes, and develop resources that help identify children with ASD as early as possible. A child’s caregivers may talk with these health care providers about their child’s social difficulties, including problems with subtle communication. For example, some children may have problems understanding tone of voice, facial expressions, or body language. Older children and adolescents may have trouble understanding figures of speech, humor, or sarcasm.

Read more about Piano lessons for Autistic Child here.

If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.

Autistic children can be silent, chatty, incredibly intelligent, have intellectual disabilities, or be very sociable. Through a neurotypical lens, their behaviors can range from quirky to starkly neurodivergent. They may do well academically and/or have learning disabilities. Autistic children also fall into the average range of performance and temperament. We all need to know this to improve support and understanding, and to create a society that works for autistic people. This video shows how autism can affect everyday life and how you can help support and understand autistic people. How do these genetic and nongenetic influences give rise to autism?

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Learn more about NIMH’s commitment to accelerating the pace of scientific progress and transforming mental health care. Priority Research Areas Learn about NIMH priority areas for research and funding that have the potential to improve mental health care over the short, medium, and long term. The concept of neurodiversity is contentious in autism advocacy and research groups and has led to infighting. For many autistic people, characteristics first appear during infancy or childhood and follow a steady course without remission . Autistic people may be severely impaired in some respects but average, or even superior, in others. Vocational rehabilitation can help autistic people cope with career-related challenges. It allows them to explore the possibility of further education, volunteering, or job changes.

The ability to be focused exclusively on one topic in communication is known as monotropism, and can be compared to “tunnel vision”. It is common for autistic people to communicate strong interest in a specific topic, speaking in lesson-like monologues about their passion instead of enabling reciprocal communication.

While the above types are no longer official diagnoses, some people still find them useful as a way to describe how symptoms are experienced and their severity. For example, people often find that Asperger’s is helpful as a self-identity or to connect with peers with similar experiences. Those with Level 2 autism spectrum disorder need more support. Their social difficulties are apparent, they may have problems communicating, and may need assistance to manage problematic behaviors.

This means they may find it hard to look after themselves and need help with daily life. Children with Rett syndrome often have behaviors similar to autism, and experts used to group it among spectrum disorders. But now that it’s known to be caused by a genetic mutation, it’s no longer considered an ASD. If most non-autistic people were socially competent all the time there would be no such thing as self-help books, matchmaking services, romantic breakups, or divorce. Most autistic people stim, but then again most human beings stim in one way or another. Most people learn, sooner or later, that while hair twirling is accepted in neurotypical society, rocking or twirling is not . In response, autistic people either mask their traits or are unable or unwilling to conform.