Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects individuals’ social communication and interaction skills, as well as their behavior and interests. ASD is characterized by a wide range of symptoms, abilities, and challenges, and it is referred to as a “spectrum” because it encompasses a diverse range of presentations.
Common characteristics and symptoms of ASD include:
- Social communication difficulties: Individuals with ASD may have challenges in understanding and using verbal and nonverbal communication. They may struggle with maintaining conversations, understanding social cues, and appropriately interpreting facial expressions or body language.
- Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests: Many individuals with ASD exhibit repetitive or stereotyped behaviors, such as repetitive movements (e.g., hand-flapping, rocking), insistence on sameness, or intense interests in specific topics or objects. They may also have a preference for routines and may become distressed by changes in their environment or daily activities.