All parents want their children to play, interact, and get along well with other kids of their age. These social abilities develop intuitively among children. For those who struggle in this department, an early intervention can help in developing the requisite skills. But it’s often a major problem for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ASD challenges faced by an autistic child are often unique.
For an autistic child, the social skills don’t develop on expected lines, unlike neuro-typical children. In case of severe impairment, autistic children may hardly interact with people around them. They are usually involved in their own world and have limited language skills. At the other end of autism spectrum are children who are fairly extrovert who reach out to people and get along really well with adults. But surprisingly, they don’t get along well with children of their age group.
According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, all forms of autism have been brought under a common diagnosis. Asperger’s syndrome is now called “high-functioning autism.”
ADHD challenges are many. Children having autism typically lag behind in social situations. According to several studies, the condition starts even before the child is eight months of age. Most children, by 12 months of age, respond to their name sans being taught. They begin understanding gestures, can comprehend sign language, can wave and point and carry out back-and-forth interaction. They can interpret humor, sorrow, and all other standard emotions.
But this understanding of emotions is one of the major ASD challenges. Autistic children lack in almost all of the above. Some of the other red flags are limited facial affect, poor eye contact, lack of self-help skills, delay in imaginative play, and big response time. Autistic children also don’t engage in pretend play and are usually obsessed with any repeated activity of their liking, like flapping of hands, rocking back and forth, and others.