Living With Autism: 8 Significant Behaviors

Living With Autism

Living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can include challenges that most families do not understand or appreciate. ASD is a developmental disorder that impacts the brain’s functions. Those diagnosed have trouble navigating the world around them. Whether struggling to communicate and express emotions, maintaining eye contact, or not realizing that it’s essential to wash their hands, the life-changing impacts of the condition can take a toll.

At ABA Centers of Virginia, it’s our mission to secure a better life for individuals diagnosed with autism and to support parents by helping them understand that ASD, with some management, is not an end but an excellent beginning to a healthy life.

ASD is a spectrum condition. It can manifest as mild to severe behaviors like physical violence and self-harm. This range means parents should consider which behavior their child demonstrates, as many stem from a similar source: difficulty expressing wants, needs, emotions, and understanding others.

8 Behaviors That Are Common to Living with ASD

Kids age in and out of behaviors. However, parents should remain aware of developmental markers and particular quirks as they support an ASD diagnosis. The following are some common behaviors demonstrated by individuals on the spectrum.

Language and Imagination – Repeated studies show that imagination is a challenge for neurodivergent kids, particularly around language. Symbolic language, such as metaphors, jokes, exaggerations, and sarcasm, can be challenging due to their difficulty conceiving the emotions of others. They are most comfortable with literal, precise language.

Routines and Emotions – Kids on the spectrum don’t take well to surprises. They feel safe in their daily habits, with specific clothes, sights, schedules, and people. When a radical change upsets their order, they crave consistency and can feel overwhelmed. This adjustment often results in a meltdown to express discomfort with the current situation.

Social Interactions Difficulty – A standard among ASD is difficulty being interested in or understanding the emotions of others. Those on the spectrum struggle to make eye contact, ask questions, or hold conversations and discuss topics they aren’t interested in. On the distant end of the spectrum, they may be nonverbal during infancy. Neurodivergent kids tend to prefer solitary play rather than engaging with peers.

Narrow & Rigid Fixations– Kids with ASD may become interested in a particular topic and delight in exploring every element. These topics range from video game franchises to highly complex technological systems and mathematics. Sometimes, this fascination will transfer into academic skills, allowing them to shine and interact with their peers as an expert.

Candid & Forthright – Kids with ASD tend to be extremely honest, as they cannot understand the underlying reasons or imagine a scenario leading to lying. In the right circumstance, this is an incredibly moral trait that will help them throughout life. They will not maliciously steal, and their honesty can be a great asset to any company they work for. However, in the wrong circumstance, it can come off as rude.

Clear Sense of Morality – Children with ASD often fall into binary right or wrong morality, not understanding the subtilities of actions, their consequences, or gray areas. This absolutism does not mean they are incapable of empathy and, with some explanation, feel remorse, regret, and shame for their behavior. It’s essential to treat them compassionately and avoid depressive episodes and spirals they may experience from alienation while trying to understand the world and what sometimes feels like a complete lack of morality.

Sensory Excess – Sensory overload is something many ASD kids suffer from due to neurological changes in the prefrontal cortex. Crowds of people, loud sounds, bright lights, and physical touch are all things that can lead to stress, sensory overload, and meltdowns. When circumstances become too overwhelming, they might flee (also known as elopement). Noise-canceling headphones and quiet rooms are a great aid to neurodivergent kids that struggle with this challenge.

Ownership and Personal Property– Kids with ASD struggle to understand what belongs to them instead of others. Part of not understanding emotional frameworks is lacking a reference for personal property boundaries. For example, a child on the spectrum might not comprehend why they shouldn’t take a toy from another child. This behavior does not come from a place of malice, as children on the spectrum don’t understand the social dimensions of this behavior. Parents or caretakers can explain the importance of personal property, and ASD children will adapt and learn with some care.

Some Common Autism Myths

  • Autism Is a Weakness– Individuals with autism can have an incredible range of skills, sometimes being “savants” or extremely adept at activities upon which they’ve fixated. In many professions, the single-minded pursuit of a subject is an advantage. They can be creative, thoughtful, and deeply moral people capable of great warmth and happiness. Additionally, they tend to possess memorization and visual learning skills far above their “neurotypical” peers.
  • Only Children Have Autism– Generations coped with autism undiagnosed until the advent of autism awareness in the 21st century. They were determined to be “weird” or “quirky.” It becomes apparent today how many lived their entire life struggling to communicate and did not receive the help or support they needed.

Living with Autism and ABA Centers of Virginia

More families realize that they don’t have to face autism alone, as autism awareness and acceptance are at an all-time high. There are communities, forums, and, most importantly, care. At ABA Centers of Virginia, we specialize in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, the best way to prepare your loved one for the world’s challenges on their way to self-reliance.

Through ABA therapy, kids and teens can learn invaluable skills and coping mechanisms that help with the daily challenges of living with autism. ABA therapy is the gold standard for positive change, whether learning a productive manner to express when they are upset or strengthening their communication.

Don’t hesitate to call us at (855) 957-1892 or visit our website for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced professionals. We are here to help give your loved one a roadmap to a happy, autism-friendly future.

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