What are Common Autistic Behaviors?

D. Waldman

The most common autistic behaviors are impaired communication skills, diminished social skills, atypical eating, and repetitive actions. The majority of these autistic behaviors begin to manifest before a child with autism turns 2. These behaviors can be mild to severe in nature, lasting from a few years to an entire lifetime.

A child with autism may have difficulty socializing and making friends.
A child with autism may have difficulty socializing and making friends.

One of the most outwardly noticeable autistic behaviors is the presence of impaired communication skills. This is shown through both verbal and non-verbal communication. Many people suffering from autism have problems speaking clearly, creating cohesive sentences, and carrying on extended conversations in a logical manner. They may also have issues with maintaining eye contact and determining the correct tone of a conversation due to their inability to correctly read other people's body language and facial expressions.

Many children and adolescents who have Asperger's syndrome are highly intelligent.
Many children and adolescents who have Asperger's syndrome are highly intelligent.

Another of the frequently seen autistic behaviors, social skills are an area that can remain seriously delayed in autistic patients. Many individuals with autism have problems forming friendships and traditional relationships. This is largely due to the fact that people with autism tend to live in their own invisible bubbles at times. The way they see the world around them is often completely different from the way anyone else experiences it, making it hard for autistic individuals to relate to others who cannot see their surroundings form the same viewpoint.

With regards to other autistic behaviors, atypical eating can be one of the most challenging to deal with, particularly with autistic children. Autism tends to create a larger focus on texture, taste, and overall appearance of food. Some autistic children will only eat foods that are crunchy, while others may only prefer items that are salty. The autistic behaviors that lead to various fixations on certain tastes or textures may not seem like a issue to some people, but finding a way to provide the child with a properly balanced diet while also conforming to his eating preferences can be much harder than others think.

Of all the autistic behaviors, the one that can potentially have the greatest impact on a person's day-to-day life is the strong inclination towards repetitive behaviors. This can be anything from following the exact same routine when getting ready in the morning right down to using the same number of strokes when brushing teeth to always having to sit at the exact same seat at the dinner table when eating every night. While these types of repetitive autistic behaviors may seem harmless, asking a person to deviate from them can be very traumatic.

A person with autism is often awkward in social situations.
A person with autism is often awkward in social situations.

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