Many people with autism are also under or over sensitive to light, noise, heat, touch, taste or smell. These difficulties can have a big effect on how people with autism experience the world. If you are not affected by any of these difficulties, it can sometimes be hard to imagine how they must be feeling. For many, it can be very upsetting and even scary.
The person with autism that you know might also show some odd behaviors such as flicking their fingers, flapping their hands or arms, spinning or jumping. Not everyone with autism will do these things but those that do, will do them for different reasons. Some people may do these things to make them feel happy and possibly just like the feeling they get from doing it, whereas others might do these when they are worried about something. For some people, it helps them cope with what’s going on around them.
Many people with autism can also have an obsession with a particular thing. For example, my brother, Ben, likes dinosaurs and can talk about them all day if we let him.
|Teens with Autism|
Teens on the autism spectrum might have more problems with learning or making friends. Some can be like other teens much of the time but might have differences in the way they learn or in their interests. Some people on the spectrum have special gifts and talents.
Some kids with autism spectrum disorder can go to school just like their peers. People with moderate or severe autism spectrum disorder usually don’t take part in regular classes – typically, they have more trouble talking and some might not talk at all.
Sometimes it can seem as if kids and teens with autism want to be left alone because they have trouble looking at, talking to or hanging out with people. Sometimes they can seem rude or act like they’re not interested in others.
Because of the way their brains work, it can be hard for some teens with autism to look at people while they talk. They also may have trouble understanding jokes or sarcasm. And since they’ve been taught by other people how to talk, teens on the spectrum might imitate what they have learned and their voices might sound flat or boring.
People with spectrum disorders often do things that seem unusual or repetitive, like saying the same word over and over or moving a body part in a certain way. When they do this, it’s almost as if their brains have a case of the hiccups. They know they’re doing it, but often have a hard time controlling it.
Sometimes people with autism may seem insensitive or look unemotional, but often they just don’t know how to express how they’re feeling. It doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings – it can just be more difficult for them to show those feelings or understand the feelings of others.