Autism Behavior Checklist

There are several behavioral signs of autism that parents may observe while spending time with their child.  It is important to remember that each child is different; therefore, may exhibit one, some or all of the behaviors described.

Behaviors can be self-stimulating (i.e. flapping, spinning, etc.) or simply part of a daily routine (i.e. getting dressed must occur in the same sequence every day).  The child may engage in these behaviors because he finds them intriguing or simply because that is the only way he knows to react to a situation.

For a child with autism, behaviors can be as specific as the routines he has for himself.  He thrives on routine and nearly demands structure in his world.  Parents may find that their child seems distant and appears to have difficulty playing with others.  However, the truth may be that the child does not “see” the likeness in himself to other children and therefore does not understand or know how to engage in play with them.

Children with autism may have a reduced sensitivity to pain, but a heightened sense of touch and sound.  They may enjoy the feeling of a tickle, but be absolutely opposed to someone combing their hair.  The child may only enjoy being held by a parent on his own terms and may not seek “comfort” during those times, but rather the physical feeling of the embrace.

Playing with toys in a traditional sense is also complicated for children with autism.  They may spend hours lining up their toys, but never actually play appropriately with them.  It can also be very upsetting to the child when their toys have been disturbed or placed out of order.  It is common for a child with autism to only spin the wheels on a toy car or move a ball back and forth for a period of time.  They may also find non-toy items more interesting that toy items (i.e. clothing tags, movie cases, ink pens).

Children with autism frequently have difficulty taking turns. They easily become very attached to particular objects, and find sharing a challenge.  It often seems that they are indifferent to social interaction, thus social skills are a main area of deficit for these children.

Maintaining structure is a priority in an autistic child’s world.  He can often exhibit behavior difficulties if his daily activities deviate from their normal pattern.  He thrives on routine and finds life a much easier task when his world is one of predictability and understanding.

Entry Filed under: Behaviors

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