Challenges posed by ASD

link to what is ASD?

link to Helpful ways to support people with ASD

Autism is a lifelong development disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. Children and adults with autism have difficulties with everyday social interaction. Their ability to develop friendships is generally limited as is their capacity to understand other people’s emotional expression (NAS, 2005).

Here is a detailed list of some of the Challenges posed by Autist Spectrum Disorder.

The range of skills varies:
  • People with no form of expressive communication and poor understanding
  • People with what appears to be perfectly grammatical speech
  • Absence of any desire to communicate
  • Echolalic and repetitive speech
  • Expression of needs only
  • Makes factual comments, often irrelevant to the social situation
  • Talks incessantly regardless of response by others
  • Displays distortions of the rules of language
  • Literal interpretation
  • Referring to self in third person impairment of imagination

Impairment of imagination

  • Difficulty in understanding that other people see things from a different point of view
  • Inflexibility in the application of both written and unwritten rules that govern social behaviour
  • Repetitive enacting of roles without understanding purpose
  • Difficulties in generalising concepts
  • Literal understanding of language
  • Difficulties in distinguishing between ‘pretend’ and reality
  • Lack of empathy for others.
  • Impairment of creative imaginative concepts

Specific cognitive difficulties, including:

  • Theory of mind deficits: e.g. inability to attribute thoughts and beliefs to others
  • Executive function: e.g. difficulty with sequencing, organising and problem solving
  • Central coherence: e.g. understanding cause and effect

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Additional areas of difficulty often present in autistic spectrum disorder:
  • Repetitive and ritualistic activities.
  • Inflexible routines
  • Resistance to change
  • Poor ability to manage anger and frustration
  • Problems with sleeping, feeding and toileting
  • Additional fears and phobias
  • Severe anxiety
  • Problems in gender identity
  • Inappropriate expression of sexual feelings
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Finding appropriate help and understanding
  • Frustration at own difficulties in explaining to others why certain situations create insoluble problems
  • Inflexibility in application of social rules, particularly where these apply to themselves
  • Awareness of the social relationships normal to others and difficulty in achieving the same relationships
  • Wanting to change but being unable to do so
  • Insufficient understanding of their own condition
  • Difficulty in coping with social demands and situations
  • Knowing they are different
  • Inability to be tactful - telling the literal truth all the time can make someone very unpopular
  • Being very vulnerable to teasing by those who take advantage of their 'oddness' or literal interpretation of language and rules the challenges posed by ASD.

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