If you've been searching for the symptoms of autism and haven't felt that they match the characteristics your child has been exhibiting, that may mean that he has a mild form of the disorder. This mild form of autism is also referred to as high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome. In this type of autism, children have a lower degree of the classic symptoms, and sometimes people may not even notice them until they read each of the symptoms.
Symptoms of Mild Autism in Children
You may recognize the signs of mild autism in children in how they interact with others, their toys and with the way they use everyday items.
Children with mild autism exhibit their disorder in these ways, according to the WebMD:
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Staring at others
- Unusual facial expressions
- Abnormal posture
- Inability to recognize changes in speech tone and pitch, which could change the meaning of what the person is saying
- Speaking in a monotone voice
- Intolerance for changes in routine
- Lack of social skills
- Difficulty starting or maintaining social interactions
- Difficulty taking turns talking (dominates conversations)
- Difficulty reading other people's body language
- Advanced language skills for his age
- Talking a lot about certain topics with which he has a preoccupation
- Verbalizing internal thoughts
- Delayed motor development
- More interested in parts of items than the whole item
- Hypersensitivity to lights, textures, tastes, noises and other stimuli (also known as sensory integration dysfunction)
As you can see, many of the symptoms for high functioning autism involve social relations. When studying your child, if he has mild autism, you would most likely see most of these signs while he is in a social situation playing with children his own age.
The Difference Between Classic Autism and Mild Autism
The difference between classic autism and mild autism is that those with a milder form usually have normal language and intellectual development. Some even have above average language and intellect.
The other difference is that people with classic autism refrain from engaging in social situations, but mildly autistic people will seek social activities and want make friends with others. The challenge is that they just may not know how to do it.
Speaking to Your Doctor
If you suspect that you or your child may have mild autism, speak to your doctor. He can do a screening by asking you some questions that will help him determine if you or your child may have a form of autism. The next steps involve speaking to a specialist, receiving a diagnosis, and then starting an intervention program to begin working on skill development.
Knowledge Is Power in Autism Treatment
The best thing you can do is educate yourself, so you can become familiar with what you need or what your child needs from you and from the medical community. With knowledge, support and love, a person with mild autism can live fulfilling life.