Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate, socialize, and carry out their daily activities. While the most common signs of autism are well-known, such as difficulty with social interactions, repetitive behaviors, and sensory sensitivity, there are also some less obvious symptoms that may go unnoticed. Here, we will discuss some of the hidden signs of autism that are often overlooked.
1. Difficulty with Executive Functioning:
Executive functions are cognitive processes that help an individual plan, organize, initiate, execute, and monitor activities. Individuals with autism often struggle with executive functioning, which can impact their ability to carry out simple tasks. For example, they may struggle with completing routine tasks, following multistep instructions, and prioritizing tasks.
2. Unusual Eye Contact:
Many children with autism have difficulty with eye contact. They may avoid looking others in the eye or only glance at people’s faces briefly. However, children with autism may also use eye contact differently than neurotypical children. They may focus on a person’s mouth or forehead, rather than their eyes, or have a pattern of looking away and then back quickly.
3. Obsessive Interests:
It’s common for children to have a favorite hobby or interest, but in children with autism, their interests may be unusually intense and specific. They may become fixated on a particular topic, such as dinosaurs, trains, or maps, and have a deep knowledge of that subject which they enjoy sharing with others.
4. Sensory Issues:
Many individuals with autism have sensory issues, such as being oversensitive or undersensitive to certain sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. For example, they may overreact to loud noises and bright lights, or they may struggle with the texture of certain foods or clothing.
5. Delayed Speech and Language Skills:
While some children with autism do not speak at all, others may begin speaking later than expected, and some may have difficulty with language comprehension. They may struggle with word meanings, nuances of language, and making and maintaining eye contact during communication.
6. Repetitive Behaviors:
Repetitive behaviors, such as flapping, spinning, or rocking, are common in children with autism. These behaviors can provide comfort or help to regulate emotions, but they can also be disruptive or interfere with daily activities.
In conclusion, autism is a complex condition that presents differently in each individual. While the more obvious symptoms of autism are often recognized, it is important to be aware of the less noticeable signs that may go unnoticed. By recognizing the hidden signs of autism, we can better understand and support individuals with this condition.