Children with autism spectrum disorder usually display a number of basic and pervasive differences in their ability to learn. While a non-autistic child with development delay requires special assistance to learn, an autistic child may have to first “learn to learn”. Intellectually impaired children display a consistent learning trajectory. They could be slow learners. But they learn at their own pace.
Limited sustained attention among autistic children negatively impacts their persistence and pace with tasks. This is one of the primary limitations. Their basic ability to derive a benefit from experience and exposure is also limited. Children with autism typically engage in selective stimulus by focusing their attention on a particular object. Autistic children find little interest in verbal stimuli which works for a non-autistic child. That aside, children with autism are easily overwhelmed by both internal and external stimulation which they can’t decipher and interpret. For instance, the simple ringing of a telephone could trigger reactions ranging from withdrawal to hyperactivity. Another major inability is to prioritize relevant stimuli.
Children with autism also respond poorly to internal and external rewards. They have little self-awareness and don’t experience natural pride which comes with success.
Autism spectrum disorder also impedes a child’s sense to realize the bigger picture. That is, understanding why learning is important. Even the rewards that non-autistic children demand—like toys, or praise—have little or no value to an autistic child.
Anxiety disorders and mental retardation are largely common to children with autism. At the same time, communication and attention drawbacks are of significant importance as well. Even children with mild cognitive delays struggle with their learning. Anxiety symptoms could be partially related to particular neurobiological makeup of these children. The outcome is the avoidance of social situations. Children with autism also display aggressive behaviors in most unlikely situations.