Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorder refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, nonverbal communication, and sensory problems. Autism spectrum disorder can be due to genetic and environmental influences. The word “spectrum” in the disorder reflects the variations that the disorder may have. Those with Autism may have various strengths and challenges unique to them. Autism spectrum disorder is generally diagnosed after age 2 and up. Autism spectrum disorder is considered a neurological condition and affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. Counseling can help to improve social skills, sensory issues, and life transitions.

How might myself, someone I know, or my child identify with having Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Most individual’s with Autism Spectrum Disorder generally start showing signs in early infancy or during their toddler years. As a parent, you may notice your child lacks giving eye contact, may appear indifferent to caretakers, and are not as responsive to people. As they age, you may notice repetitive behaviors such as needing things done a certain way or lining up toy cars. You may also notice odd, lack of, or problems with social interaction among peers. Some individual’s on the Autism spectrum may have excessively high intelligence, however, fail to communicate and apply these skills in an appropriate way. Every individual is unique and some behaviors may differ, however, these are some of the general signs and symptoms. Other signs and symptoms include the following:

Fails to respond to his or her name or appears not to hear you at times

Resists cuddling and holding, and seems to prefer playing alone, retreating into his or her own world

Has poor eye contact and lacks facial expression

Doesn’t speak or has delayed speech, or loses previous ability to say words or sentences

Can’t start a conversation or keep one going, or only starts one to make requests or label items

Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm and may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech

Repeats words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand how to use them

Doesn’t appear to understand simple questions or directions

Doesn’t express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others’ feelings

Doesn’t point at or bring objects to share interest

Inappropriately approaches a social interaction by being passive, aggressive or disruptive

Has difficulty recognizing nonverbal cues, such as interpreting other people’s facial expressions, body postures or tone of voice

Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand flapping

Performs activities that could cause self-harm, such as biting or head-banging

Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed at the slightest change

Has problems with coordination or has odd movement patterns, such as clumsiness or walking on toes, and has odd, stiff or exaggerated body language

Is fascinated by details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car, but doesn’t understand the overall purpose or function of the object

Is unusually sensitive to light, sound or touch, yet may be indifferent to pain or temperature

Doesn’t engage in imitative or make-believe play

Fixates on an object or activity with abnormal intensity or focus

Has specific food preferences, such as eating only a few foods, or refusing foods with a certain texture

Have more questions? Feel free to contact us for a free 15 minute consultation or to schedule an appointment!

Peaks Counseling, LLC
88 Inverness Cir. E. 

Building N, Suite 105

Centennial, CO 80112

Phone: (720) 432-3496

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