What is Autism Spectrum Disorder – ASD?

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder – ASD?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition whose characteristics can change during a person’s development both in nature and in intensity, even in adulthood. The related difficulties pervade many areas of a person’s functioning. The characteristics of autism can be classified into three categories called the autistic triad and can appear in different combinations and with varying intensity.

These affect:

  • Social relations
  • Communication
  • Behaviors and interests

Although their daily impacts may appear later, the signs and characteristics, as well as certain peculiarities that are associated with an autism spectrum condition (ASD), are generally present from a young age. However, children who cope with less severe deficits may begin to experience daily difficulties as social relationships become more complex. Some others will develop normally during the first months or the first years and then withdraw into themselves and lose some of what they have learned more than others.

For a diagnosis to be made, the daily impact must be significant. It also happens that people present a behavior profile similar to that found in ASD, but without the daily impact is significant. For example, some more lonely people exhibit traits of an autism spectrum condition, but have always functioned without special needs for help or services, have satisfying social lives, have jobs, and are often in a relationship and have children. In these cases, the diagnosis of ASD is not made.

It should be noted that a person’s autistic profile can also vary over the course of their life. A person can thus move from stereotypical motor behaviors to cognitive interests. For example, she could have clapped her hands in her childhood while in adulthood she focuses on information.

Some important remarks

The social and communication skills of a person with autism are disrupted, but they are not necessarily absent. It is the quality of social contact and communication that is affected.

One of the best examples to illustrate this point is the popular idea that people with autism do not look at the person they are talking to. Some of them would seem to pierce you with their gaze and others might stare at you. Invite you to visit on this site for all kinds of updates related to the digital life info

Likewise, a person with autism who has been taught the importance of looking a person in the eye and giving them a good handshake when introduced to them for the first time might subsequently, stare at that person and shake their hand way too tight. So you couldn’t say that there is no eye contact here, but that this contact seems strange to you. Another example: When you want to communicate with someone, you will simply call them out. Some people with autism might do this by asking, for example, “What is your birthday?

It is among other things, this particular character of social relations and communication that we will examine in order to arrive at a diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is important to remember that for an autistic person, the difficulties are both on the expressive level (expression) and on the receptive level (understanding). In other words, people in whom the autistic triad is presently found it difficult to establish contact with others or to express themselves, but it is equally difficult for them to understand the rules that govern social relations and communication.

Social relations

Everyone with autism is different. One may be completely indifferent to the people around her. Another may take few initiatives to come into contact with others, but will nevertheless allow herself to be approached. Some people may have a very active social life, but the way they relate to people may seem strange. They will accumulate social blunders and have difficulty developing stable friendships.

Social difficulties in autism manifest themselves very early in childhood. From an early age, some autistic children already find it difficult to establish contact with those around them. Some of them will not respond to their first name. Others will not imitate the people around them and will not show any particular emotion when they are separated from their parents or when they find them. Still, others may have difficulty making eye contact and may not enjoy physical contact. Some may present certain problems with regard to food or even motor delays. There are as many possibilities here as there are autistic people. Today, we know that different cognitive or sensory characteristics affect the social relationships of people who are on the autism spectrum (ASD).


A large proportion of people with autism are said to be verbal and therefore speak. However, some of them may not use this language to communicate or they could manifest certain peculiarities such as echolalia: they repeat sounds, words, or whole sentences that they have, for example, heard in a cartoon or in other everyday situations. They can also confuse personal pronouns or seem only interested in one topic. 

It is often said that these people communicate unilaterally: they do not seek or expect a response in return when they speak. Their understanding of language is also unique. They often take language literally. People with autism who do not speak find it very difficult to compensate for this lack and often do so in a limited way. As far as possible, it will be important to teach them to communicate and to put in place certain communication support tools such as the use of pictograms.

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