High functioning autism which was previously referred to as asperges disorder
I want to talk about the symptoms that somebody might present with and then I want to talk about some of the differences between the sort of levels of autism that an individual can have. One of the most important things to say is there’s not actually an official diagnosis of high functioning autism there is a umbrella diagnosis which we call an autism spectrum disorder and autism spectrum disorder is characterized by certain criteria but people can fall from the very severe end to the very mild end and this is where I think a lot of the confusion comes in around the term autism.
Teenagers who at the time would have been diagnosed with asperges disorder
Now would be diagnosed with high functioning autism and they were such a interesting challenging, fun group to work with an and I think that understanding a little bit about how they present can be very helpful, so an individual with high functioning autism may be able to function fairly well in society like they’re going to be able to hold a job, they’re going to be able to do their basic life skills like make themselves food you know dressed themselves do personal hygiene, those things are going to be no problem or if they’re a problem, very slight problem that they can adapt to the biggest difficulty that people with high functioning autism have is around social interaction and communication. This is where they’re frequently labeled as quirky or odd in the past they might have been labeled as a nerd or a geek.
There are certain behaviors and ways of speaking which are fairly distinct and we’re going to talk a little bit about those in the next segment. One of the main problems as I mentioned before that people with high functioning autism struggle with is social interaction In communication and this these symptoms, run the gamut from difficulty with reading social cues to difficulty with eye contact as well as sometimes difficulty with perspective taking or understanding where another individual is coming from and we’re going to break those down a little bit in terms of the first one a social cue difficulty might show up as I don’t give you enough space so not really understanding personal boundaries maybe standing too closely to someone maybe talking too loudly for the situation um maybe going up to somebody and saying: hey this is my interest and then monopolizing the conversation around a topic that they’re really interested in or engaged with.
So understandably people who aren’t familiar with it might pull away or not be able to naturally interact as they might with somebody else who have these basic conversational skills so these skills, which we call kind of social pragmatics are really key difference between somebody struggling with high functioning autism and somebody who we would refer to as neurotypical.Some of the common behaviors you will see and somebody who has high functioning autism are a difficulty with eye contact to the point that it’s noticeable as well as often a difficulty with small talks. The sort of social nicety’s we use when entering into conversation with other people, asking about interests, you know saying: “ hey, how was your day?” they may not necessarily have the innate ability to do that, and so one of the key interventions with people with high functioning autism, is teaching them social skills so essentially training them to be able to recognize cues and to act in an appropriate way, if this is done in a structured manner it can be pretty effective high functioning people on the autism spectrum might exhibit other behaviors that would appear strange from the outside, some of these are like preoccupation with routine, engaging in certain repetitive behaviors this can be either a call for a calming effect.