symptoms of autism and PDD are hard to understand.
These children seem to have less control over
their emotions, they perceive in odd ways and
their understanding seems severely impaired compared
to their concrete skills. They seem to have special
problems in learning language and social skills.
You will find a child having difficulties in most
or all of these areas:
All children communicate, but children with autism
or PDD have special problems. Some never learn
to use spoken language, while others will only
learn the basic language specific to their needs.
A child may mostly repeat what he hears (echolalia).
Others develop advanced speech, but have problems
if affect, in their ability to express feelings
or ideas, or in knowing the right way or time
to say things.
The actions of others are confusing to these children
and they may withdraw from social interactions.
Many have difficulty with interactive play. They
may have difficulty picking up social clues so
their actions may not be appropriate for the situation.
With their difficulty understanding abstract ideas,
these children usually prefer and learn best through
the concrete. Some show little imaginative play,
some have imaginative play, but it tends to follow
set themes or interests. Many prefer to repeat
the same Recreation over and over. The child may
even "withdraw into himself", engaging
in repetitive self-stimulation such as rocking
or rhythmic moving of the hands.
These children often seek out the security of
routines, and can become very dependent on them.
They may avoid new experiences or situations.
It appears both from the observations of others
and by first person accounts that these children
often experience perceptions differently. Sights,
sounds, textures that we easily accept can cause
anxiety and even rage in a child. One child, for
example, said that red hurt his eyes. Another
flew into a rage when she felt the "prickle"
of wool. Yet other experiences that may seem important
to us may be completely ignored. While at times
they may seem hypersensitive, at other times seeming
to be extremely distractible, yet at other times
being overly focused on an activity or on self-stimulation.
They may find human contact stressful at times,
or show an unusual focus in their sensory experiences,
such as an exaggerated interest in smell, or in
All of the confusion experienced by the child
can make the world a frightful place. Difficulties
in understanding and articulating their own emotions,
or those of others, may cause your child's response
in some situations to appear to be inappropriate.
Emotional outbursts are common and it may be difficult
for them to regain control. Our response to these
outbursts may increase their confusion, frustration
and anger. These outbursts may result in a child
trying to hurt themselves or others.