Autism Language Program
Characteristics of Children with Autism
Autism is a spectrum disorder, and symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a variety of combinations, from mild to severe. Although autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors, children can exhibit any combination of these behaviors in varying degrees of severity.
In our experience, we believe many children with autism exhibit the following strengths:
- strong visual processing
- ability to solve puzzles
- ability to be decode words (often self-taught)
- Ability to make sense of the world through their visual surroundings (often enhanced by visual materials)
- fascination with books and magazines
- extremely interested in electronic screen media (TV, games, monitors)*
It is interesting to note that in a recent survey, we found many children with autism spend more time with media than they do with all other forms of play combined.
Children with autism may also exhibit a difficulty:
- in shared interests
- paying attention to what you want them to
- understanding language (spoken and written)
- with social conventions
- viewing the perspective of another person
- expressing and interpreting emotion
- with obsessive and compulsive behavior patterns
It should also be noted that 50% of children with autism do not talk. Most are late talkers, and some often lose previously acquired language skills.
There are, however, many misconceptions about autism. Some believe that if a child does not learn to talk by age 7, they will not talk at all. We do not believe that.