Social & Communication
The symptoms that typically apply to students with autism can be observed through their social interaction, fine/gross motor skills and in their behavioural interactions with individuals. Some of the social symptoms are that children have difficulty interacting with peers. Some children may also display delayed speech and language development according to their age. Children with autism often have difficulty with non verbal forms of communication such as eye contact. As many children often lack eye contact with peers/family and this is a red flag, alert to typical child development. Children may have difficulty understanding and responding to tone of voice, such as repeating the child’s name firmly. The child may often have may engage in independent play, and may not join in with group or role play.
Children with autism can be hyper-sensitive and/or hypo-sensitive to their senses, such as loud sounds or visual items in the environment. As a result students may cover their ears, if the sound may be uncomfortable or disruptive.
Fine Motor Symptoms
Children with autism may lack fine motor skills such as holding a pencil, which then affects their printing.
The child may have difficulty building relationships with others. Children with autism may not react well to sudden changes in their routines and environment. As the student is not able to predict what is happening next. Transitions need to be planned and implemented smoothly. Providing visuals in transitions, as to what they are going to do next. As interruptions can easily distract and frustrate students. If making changes in the environment it is crucial to notify the student, as students need familiarity in their environment.