Spotting Autism: Characteristics you May see in Children and Adults

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the way that individuals interact with the world around them. It is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there is a wide range of symptoms and severity levels. Autism can be challenging to spot, especially in individuals who have mild symptoms or who have developed coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms. However, there are several characteristics that you may see in children and adults with autism.

For children, the signs of autism typically appear between the ages of 2 and 3 years old. One of the most common characteristics of autism in children is a lack of social interaction. Children with autism may not make eye contact, may not respond to their name being called, and may not participate in shared activities with others. They may also struggle with communication. They may not use language, or they may have difficulty understanding language. They may repeat words or phrases over and over again, or they may talk in a monotone voice. They may also have delayed speech development.

Another characteristic of autism in children is repetitive behaviors or routines. Children with autism may become upset when their routine is disrupted. They may engage in repetitive behaviors, such as rocking or hand-flapping. They may also have a preoccupation with specific objects or topics.

For adults, the signs of autism may be less obvious than they are in children. However, some common characteristics of autism in adults include difficulties with social interaction and communication. Adults with autism may struggle to make friends or to have romantic relationships. They may not understand social cues, such as body language or sarcasm. They may also have difficulty with workplace communication and may struggle to understand instructions or to work in a team.

Another characteristic of autism in adults is a preoccupation with specific interests or routines. They may have an encyclopedic knowledge of a particular topic, and may spend hours researching or discussing it. They may also have specific routines that they follow every day, and may become upset if these routines are disrupted.

It is important to remember that autism is a spectrum disorder, and that not all individuals with autism will exhibit the same characteristics. Additionally, some individuals may have developed coping mechanisms that make their symptoms less obvious. However, if you suspect that you or a loved one may have autism, it is important to seek a diagnosis from a qualified healthcare professional. A diagnosis can help you to understand your symptoms, and can lead to effective treatment and support.