Tuesday, August 20, 2013

People with Autism (ED606) and #hashtag

Summary of what I learned about ASD in ED606.
  • People with autism have difficulty with verbal communication. They have trouble starting and maintaining conversations. As a coping mechanism, they may try rehearsing conversations or writing lists of things to talk about.
  • People with autism have trouble maintaining eye contact during conversations, but this can be overcome in part by self-coaching (Repeating, “Remember to make eye contact” etc.).
  • Most people with autism struggle with distinguishing speech tone, pitch, and accent that may indicate someone is joking or lying.
  • People with autism often suffer from distress in new social situations. This can manifest itself as nausea. They can cope with physical symptoms (e.g. vomiting) by avoiding eating during particular stressful situations.
  • People with autism tend to respond to social interactions, rather than initiate them. People with autism often have an aversion to answering questions about themselves.
  • People with autism often have a sensitivity to loud places, which makes them avoid bars with live music.
  • People with autism often struggle with empathy. They tend to have difficulty understanding how other people are feeling and have trouble reading body language. In combination with a tendency to avoid eye contact, this can lead to confusion when trying to understand other peoples motivation and feelings.
  • Many people with autism fixate on routine. They may choose to dress the same way every day or follow the same routine getting ready each morning. They also tend to get really anxious when off schedule. Related to routine, people with autism tend to be perfectionists in at least in some areas. While they might be physical unkempt, they might fixate on picking the right font or right word while writing.
  • People with autism often have above average rote memory. Many can memorize lists of states, presidents or other facts.
  • Autism is at least in part based on genetics, so people with autism might have family members, like cousins, who also have autism.
  • People with autism sometimes find certain food textures to be particularly unpleasant, including but not limited to white creamy sauces.
  • Someone who has autism likely had difficulty developing gross motor skills. So they might have not learned to ride a bike until long after their peers. Similarly, people with autism sometimes may have difficulty with fine motor skills. They might have had difficulty learning to tie their shoes and end up having Velcro shoes for a while. Sometimes they end up with poor handwriting as a result of deficient fine motor skills.
  • Someone with autism might struggle to start a conversation, but have a "Special Interest Area” or limited topics for which it is noticeably easier for them to talk about. They might have no idea how to start a conversation with a stranger, but be able to talk about math or geography for hours on end.

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