Communication and Repetitive Behavior and Other Symptoms in Autism

Communication and Repetitive Behavior and Other Symptoms in Autism

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Communication and Repetitive Behavior and Other Symptoms in Autism

Approximately 33%-50% of autistic individuals do not develop adequate natural speech to meet day to day communication needs. The communication deficit may be present and become evident from the first year of life such as delay in babbling, unusual and unnatural gestures and vocal patterns. By the second or third year of life the autistic children have fewer words, and word combinations, consonants and their gestures are not synchronized with their words. Children with autism are less likely to share their experiences with peers or caregivers, make fewer requests and simply repeat words, which they may not understand.

Autistic children have deficit joint attention necessary for functional speech, e.g. instead of looking at the object, when a person point finger at an object, autistic child look at the pointed finger/hand. Autistic children are also deficient in developing symbols into language and do not engage in imaginative play, as all the normal children of their age do.

Repetitive behaviors of autistic individuals:

Autistic individuals display several repetitive behaviors such as:

  • Compulsive behavior such as arranging objects in stacks or lines and appears to follow some rules.
  • Stereotype repetitive movements such as repetitive body rocking, head rolling, hand flapping etc.
  • Ritualistic behavior such as not changing menu or dressing pattern
  • Sameness is unwillingness and resistance to change, e.g. furniture from the child’s room not to be moved.
  • There may be preoccupation with a single toy, game or television program.
  • Self-injury (such as hand biting, head banging, skin picking, eye poking etc.) is common behavioral problem in autistic children. In one study it was reported that approximately one third autistic children may suffer from self-injury.

Autistic individuals may have some other symptoms, which are not considered as part of autism or ASDs. Up to 10% of autistic persons show some skills or unusual abilities which are superior to general population. Approximately 75% of autistic individuals have unusual eating behavior and it used to be a diagnostic criterion. The eating behavior is usually selectiveness for a particular food item, i.e. liking or disliking may be intense.


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