Autism was first recognised by Leo Kanner in 1943 - a hugely complex neurological disorder marked by the "Triad of Impairments" which shows difficulties in the areas of communication, social interaction and imagination. It is also a spectrum disorder in which the individual demonstrating traits of autism can fit in anywhere within the spectrum. The symptoms can vary from mild to moderate to severe where some show accompanying learning disabilities. Autistic children appear to be indifferent and aloof living in a world of their own, where they are unable to form emotional bonds and lack the understanding, thoughts and feelings of others. Following the recognition of Autism, Hans Asperger in 1944 identified a condition which had similar traits to Autism which is known today as Asperger’s Syndrome. Individuals with Asperger’s are very rarely mentally retarded while being generally seen as odd with unusual interests.

Traits to look out for:

  • Difficulty with verbal communication
  • Difficulty with nonverbal communication
  • Lacking in social development
  • Lacking in emotional development
  • Lacking in imagination
  • Lacking or no eye contact
  • Insistence on routine
  • Difficulty with taking turns
  • Over or under sensitive senses
  • Play in a manner that is unusual or odd
  • Lack of awareness to danger
  • Repetitive or obsessive behaviour
  • Bizarre behaviour
  • Hyperactive
  • Passive
  • Gives impression of being deaf or blind
  • Spinning objects
  • Laughing or crying for no apparent reason
  • Prefer being alone
  • Echolalia
  • Lack of awareness of personal space
  • Lack of facial expression
  • Unusual body posture
  • Lack of ability to imitate
  • Lack of ability to sustain a conversation
  • Lack of ability to gesture
  • Poor eating habits

    Award winning author of "No Matter What" (Autism)
    (Psychology / Mental health - Parenting / Family - Health general )