Understanding Autism and how children with autism are different from most other children. - Kidaura


Understanding Autism and how children with autism are different from most other children.


Published by Mahima

2 years ago

What is Autism?

To show a deficiency in social interactions, for example, they may not understand the back and forth nature of the conversation, may not maintain eye contact, may not understand non-verbal cues in language, may not show facial expressions. To show Repetitive movements and patterns of behaviors: They may engage in repetitive movements of a particular body part ( hand flapping, head banging), difficulty adapting to changes in their surrounding, To show Restricted Interests. They may get attached to unusual objects or develop intense interests in a specific object. For example: becoming obsessed with penguins and learning all the material available on penguins. To show sensitivities towards certain smells, sounds, sight, even touch sensations.

How are they different from most children?

  • Attention

Most children like to pay attention to their environment, through this activity they learn about people and objects in the environment. Most young children explore social and non-social environments by attending to and interacting in these environments. Children with ASD, may not show any interest in watching and interacting with people as other children. They tend to interact only with non-social environments such as toys which limits their opportunities for learning.

  • Engaging in fun activities

Fun activities are important because it facilitates learning, and creates opportunities for learning, improves memory, increases attention towards social situations. Children with ASD may not find social interactions rewarding. This means they do not seek out opportunities to learn from interaction with others as much as other children do.

  • Imitation

Imitation is a very important skill for humans. Our brains are wired to remember and learn things by watching other people. Most children copy what their parents, siblings, and their friends do. Imitation helps children learn empathy. It helps them learn the language and nonverbal communication. It also teaches them how things work, what they are, and what things are used for. It also helps them learn the social rules of conversations. In autism, children are less likely to imitate words, gestures, behaviors, and actions of other people and of children their age. According to research, the main reason behind children not imitating others is that they do not pay attention to them. This is positive news because children can be motivated to pay attention to other movements and behaviors, which in turn would lead them to learning to imitate others.

  • Back and forth Interactions

Turn-taking is a skill that is essential for social development and communication. Activities such as board-games, conversations, meetings, dancing, pretend play, grocery-store checkout are examples of social interactions that involve back and forth interactions. Turn-taking establishes a balance in interactions. Both the parties share control and take turns to direct and then follow the partner. The child has to perform both the roles, i.e leading, and following. This is difficult for children with ASD to understand as they tend to focus less on subtle non-verbal cues of other people.

  • Non-verbal Communication

Toddlers have the ability to send messages through eyes, facial expressions, hand gestures, body postures, and sounds. Children develop this skill before they learn to communicate through speech. They also learn to understand their parent’s body language. Nonverbal language helps children understand that people have mental states, inner lives, and non-verbal cues are ways to understand them.

Children with autism have difficulty understanding that messages can be sent from one person to another, through eyes, facial expressions, gestures. Therefore, they don’t engage in non-verbal communication, meaning, they do not give clear non-verbal cues so that others can understand their needs. For example, they may not express that they are hungry, or they are full.

Though their differences can create difficulty for them and others at times, they are very unique in their ways. It is said that no two people with autism are the same.

  1. They have a very good memory.

  2. They are detail-oriented and they pay attention to the finer details that others often miss.

  3. They love routines and can maintain those routines with great success.

  4. Their perception of the world and their way of processing information is very unique.

  5. They cannot beat around the bush, which makes them direct, straightforward, and honest individuals.

  6. They can be very passionate about things they like.

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