Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors.
The challenging behaviour of children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often causes parents and families the most stress. Sometimes the first step in managing challenging behaviour can be spotting the things that trigger it.
Symptoms of Autism
It typically appears during the first three years of life. Some children show signs from birth. Others seem to develop normally at first, only to slip suddenly into symptoms when they are 18 to 36 months old. However, it is now recognized that some individuals may not show symptoms of a communication disorder until demands of the environment exceed their capabilities.
Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls. It knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle, or educational levels do not affect a child’s chance of being autistic.
Children with autism have trouble communicating. They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel. This makes it very hard for them to express themselves either with words or through gestures, facial expressions, and touch.
A child with ASD who is very sensitive may be greatly troubled — sometimes even pained — by sounds, touches, smells, or sights that seem normal to others.
Children who are autistic may have repetitive, stereotyped body movements such as rocking, pacing, or hand flapping. They may have unusual responses to people, attachments to objects, resistance to change in their routines, or aggressive or self-injurious behavior. At times they may seem not to notice people, objects, or activities in their surroundings. Some children with autism may also develop seizures. And in some cases, those seizures may not occur until adolescence.
All children can behave in ways that parents find difficult or challenging to manage. But children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to do so.
Children and teenagers with ASD might:
Children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might behave in challenging ways because they: