Characteristics:

  • Obsessional interests, for example only wanting to play with toy cars
  • Limited development of language skills
  • Limited social interaction
  • Sensory sensitivities, such as certain food textures or sensations

Learning Style:

  • Require routine so that they can transition between tasks smoothly
  • Good rote learning / memorizing skills
  • Concrete and literal thinking rather than abstract
  • Visual thinking style (90% visual, 10% auditory)
  • Difficulty learning categories (they do not use words to categorize, categorize visually)

Attention Problems:

  • Shifting attention frequently and getting bored of an activity quickly
  • Difficulty attending to multi sense information; for example they dislike eye contact because can not attend to what someone is saying if they are also looking at them
  • Difficulty sustaining attention if there is a lack motivation, however if motivation is there they can maintain attention for a long time.

Contextual Problems:

  • Difficulty understanding that words have multiple meanings
  • Difficulty understanding that things may have multiple labels
  • Use pronouns interchangeably, can not understand changes
  • May carry out tasks without understanding the meaning
  • Difficulty recognizing facial expressions and how to respond to these expressions.
  • Difficulty generalizing social skills, for example if the child is taught how to use empathy when a friend is sad, he may not know how to use empathy when a friend is angry or stressed.

There are many ways that parents and health professionals can support a child with autism so he / she can reach full potential. This involves working with the child's learning style so that the child can understand what is happening in the world around him / her and how to respond.