Tag Archives: Social Cues

Question?: Pdd Symptoms

Chris asks…

Do you have or have you known someone who has Autism?

I have the disorder known as Atypical Autism. The symptoms that I notice the most in myself are that I seem to lack the ability to empathize with others and I am on the negative end of the spectrum when it comes to socializing.

If you have autism, what parts of it effect you the most…
What part of Autism do you find to be the most debilitating..

admin answers:

Atypical autism is another name for PDD-NOS or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. I have high functioning autism, and I am a sophomore in college majoring in microbiology and neurobiology. What effects me the most is reading social cues and sensory sensitivity. I can’t easily detect whether or not a person is being sincere or sarcastic and I have been taken advantage of because of that. I also have extreme sensitivity to sound. I cannot focus if someone is tapping, I process all sounds at once and cannot ignore any of it. It can lead to a meltdown occasionally. For that reason I have accommodations that allow me to take exams in quiet rooms with white noise headphones. I love pressure and use the squeeze machine invented by Temple Grandin a lot. If you haven’t tried it, you have to. It is Ecstasy to feel the squeeze and it calms me down a lot. For some reason my parents didn’t tell me about my autism until I was 16. I wish they would have done so earlier, up until then. I just assumed I was a bad person. Now I use my insight on autism to improve standards at an autistic school I work at part time

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Symptoms

Donna asks…

What is the difference between being awkward or having Asperger’s?

According to the Internet, people with Asperger syndrome are very awkward in social situations and have a hard time understanding body language. What would be the difference between just being an awkward person, or having Asperger‘s? (As in mannerisms, behaviour, etc.)

admin answers:

Asperger‘s syndrome is quite complex and affects people in many ways. There are countless symptoms that may be in place, but the thing is that the exact combination of symptoms varies a lot between individuals and nobody has all of the known symptoms. Awkwardness is just one of the many characteristics that most people with Asperger‘s syndrome have, but that doesn‘t mean that everyone who is awkward has Asperger‘s syndrome.

One of the main symptoms of Asperger‘s syndrome is poor social skills. People with Asperger‘s syndrome have difficulty reading into people and situations. They have difficulty understanding things like body language, facial expressions, tone of voice etc. And may use unusual or little body language themselves. They tend to be unaware of various unwritten social rules and are not good at picking up social cues, subtle hints and such. Therefore they are often awkward in social situations and don‘t know exactly what‘s expected of them or how to fit in.

Among other common symtoms of Asperger‘s syndrome are sensory issues (being hypersensitive or hyposensitive to certain textures, light, sounds, smells, touch, taste etc.), obsessive interests, a strong need for routines or sameness, difficulty dealing with changes, poor motor skills and many more.

So Asperger‘s syndrome is a lot more than plain awkwardness.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome

Steven asks…

what are the symptoms of Asperger syndrome?

i need to know what the symptoms of Asperger Syndrome are. if antone may know please let me know.

admin answers:

If you have Asperger’s Syndrome, you might…

…Not pick up on social cues and may lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others’ body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking.

…Dislike any changes in routines.

…Appear to lack empathy.

…Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech. Thus, your child may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally. Likewise, his or her speech may be flat and difficult to understand because it lacks tone, pitch, and accent.

…Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the child may use the word “beckon” instead of “call” or the word “return” instead of “come back.”

…Avoid eye contact or stare at others.

…Have unusual facial expressions or postures.

…Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about.

…Be overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, or studying astronomy. They may show an unusual interest in certain topics such as snakes, names of stars, or dinosaurs.

…Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized.

….Have delayed motor development. Your child may be late in learning to use a fork or spoon, ride a bike, or catch a ball. He or she may have an awkward walk. Handwriting is often poor.
Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures. For more information about these symptoms, see sensory integration dysfunction.

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Question?: Rett Syndrome Treatment

Helen asks…

Give me the meaning of autism (High functioning)?

admin answers:

What is high functioning autism, and how does it differ from Asperger syndrome? This is a tricky question, and not one that this article is likely to answer definitively. First, there is no formal diagnosis called “high functioning autism.” What’s more, there’s no agreed upon definition of “high functioning.” As a result, while the term “high functioning autism” is often tossed around, it is a hard definition to pin down.
Generally speaking, doctors prefer to group people with autistic symptoms into discrete diagnostic categories. Rett syndrome and Fragile X syndrome are relatively clear cut disorders, and thus are likely to be correctly diagnosed. Classic autism is also fairly clear cut: Children with classic autism are usually non-verbal, unengaged, and unable to perform well on standard diagnostic tests.

But then there are the people who are high functioning but also demonstrate clearly autistic behaviors. For example, depending upon their age, they can use meaningful language, read, write, do math, show affection, complete daily tasks but can’t hold eye contact, maintain a conversation, engage in play, pick up on social cues, etc. What is the correct diagnosis for such a child? Is it Pervasive Developmental Not Otherwise Specified” (PDD-NOS)? Asperger syndrome? High functioning autism?

PDD-NOS is a catch-all diagnosis. Often understood to mean the same thing as “high functioning autistic,” it really incorporates individuals at all function levels whose symptoms don’t fully correlate with classic autism. So a PDD-NOS diagnosis may provide some information to parents and teachers but cannot guide treatment.

Asperger syndrome is a much more specific diagnosis, with specific diagnostic criteria. Until recently, the biggest difference between Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism was based on whether a person developed speech typically as a toddler. Those who did develop speech typically were considered to have Asperger syndrome while those who did not (even if they developed typical speech later) were diagnosed with autism. Now, experts are wondering whether speech development is the best way to distinguish between autism and Asperger syndrome or if there even is a difference.

High functioning autism is not an official diagnostic term, though it may be used as such. It tends to describe people who have many or all of the symptoms of autism but did not develop language typically. It’s a helpful diagnosis that can help guide appropriate treatment and school placement. On the other hand, it is important to be sure that a “real” diagnosis (that is, one that is described in the official diagnostic manual) is also placed in your records. It is this “real” diagnosis which may pave the way to medical and Social Security benefits down the road.

One useful explanation of the difference between Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism comes from the National Autism Society in the UK. Here’s what it says:

Both people with HFA and AS are affected by the triad of impairments common to all people with autism.
Both groups are likely to be of average or above average intelligence.
The debate as to whether we need two diagnostic terms is ongoing. However, there may be features such as age of onset and motor skill deficits which differentiate the two conditions
Although it is frustrating to be given a diagnosis which has yet to be clearly defined it is worth remembering that the fundamental presentation of the two conditions is largely the same. This means that treatments, therapies and educational approaches should also be largely similar. At the same time, all people with autism or Asperger syndrome are unique and have their own special skills and abilities. These deserve as much recognition as the areas they have difficulty in.

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Question?: Pdd Symptoms

Betty asks…

What are the symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome?

My friend thinks her brother has it, so what are they?

admin answers:

Since I diagnose Asperger’s, I will try to answer your question. Asperger’s Disorder is one of the five types of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Another type of PDD is autism. Asperger’s is typically described as high functioning autism, however it is not. They are similar, yet two different types of PDD. It is true, that no two persons with Asperger’s has exactly the same behavioral set of difficulties. However, they all meet the same basic criteria. Individuals with Asperger’s typically have average intellectual skills (or close to average), they have no significant language delays, and generally, they want to socialize. However, they way they use language and socialize is often different and it causes alot of problems for them. They usually have a hard time picking up on non-verbal social cues. They have a hard time taking the perspective of others, sharing a conversation, talking on a topic preferred by someone else, and accepting that if others disagree it is just a different opinion and not wrong. They may also have some fine or gross motor weaknesses (not too noticeable) and they often have interests that are all consuming. In other words, that is all they want to talk about or they have to do that thing or collect that thing, etc. To the point that it interefers with good social functioning or other appropriate daily activities. They may also have some sensory issues with hearing, touch, visuals, etc. They also typically, have some very high areas of functioning along with those weaknesses. They can be almost savant like skill areas. If that skill area is employable, they may wind up making a lot more money than average. A lot of times these things can make places like school a very unhappy place to be. They do not undestand why the world does not understand and accept them or why they do not fit in and they can get really down on themselves and on everyone else for not being nicer to them. This link has some good articles that may be helpful http://doban-autismarticles.blogspot.com/

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome

Jenny asks…

What percentage of individuals with Autism or Asperger syndrome get married?

I have Asperger syndrome. But I was wondering out of curiosity, it seems as if most “normal” people eventually get married at some point in their lives. This may not necessarily be true of autistic individuals, so does anybody have statistics?

admin answers:

I don’t think there’s a specific statistic, but it is known that many people with Aspergers do get married. I know a few who have. Aspergers only creates a delay in understanding social cues, it doesn’t make a person unable to have good relationships.

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Question?: Autistic

Mandy asks…

Would autistic people be less likely to conform to experiments like the Asch and Milgram experiments?

Asch’s experiment requires socializing, and autistic people are not as social as non-autistic people, so they would probably be less likely to conform.

As for Milgram’s experiment, autistic people would be much more questioning and would probably not give in as easily as the others.

Are these predictions true or false?

admin answers:

I think they would be true, for the reasons you describe, although I’d probably word the Milgram experiment hypothesis as “autistic people are less aware of ordinary social cues and do not respond in a particular way to status of others or social norms.” I’m not sure they would be more questioning. I don’t know of any studies testing this idea, but it is an interesting thought.

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Social Stories for Children With Autism

For a child with autism, the world can be an overwhelming place. Typically, the disorder causes a need for sameness and aversion to or difficulty with transitions. This means that the first day of school, the first day of holidays, the first day back to school from holidays, the first time at the dentist, and other “firsts” can be extremely challenging and confusing for the autistic child. Social stories for children with autism can help him or her prepare for an upcoming change.

Social stories are short stories written by parents, teachers, counselors, or therapists that explain appropriate behavior and social cues for an upcoming social event. Each story uses a combination of control sentences, affirmative sentences, directive sentences, descriptive sentences, perspective sentences, and cooperative sentences to help the child learn how to behave in a certain situation, or to prepare for an upcoming change in his or her routine. The social stories for children with autism are written from a kid’s perspective, in the present tense, and can be used in many different situations.

Descriptive sentences give details (who, where, what, why, and when) about the upcoming situation to help the child recognize the situation when it happens. Directive sentences talk about appropriate responses to that situation. Perspective sentences teach the child what responses or feelings he or she might experience. Affirmative sentences refer to a rule, law, or commonly-shared opinion about that situation or event. Cooperative sentences describe how other people will act or help the child. Control sentences are those created by the child to help him or her remember specific strategies for coping with and working through the event.

An example of a social story which uses all six types of sentences is:

When we go to the bike store,
There will be a lot of different bikes to choose from. (Descriptive)

I might not know right away which bike I like the best. (Perspective)
That’s ok with everyone there. (Affirmative)
I can hold onto my beads while I make my decision. (Control)

When I make my decision about which bike I want, I will tell my Mom. (Directive)
My Mom will go buy the bike for me. (Cooperative)

Social stories for children with autism work very simply. The child or parent reads the story, and rehearses the story ahead of the upcoming change in routine or social event. When the actual event arrives, the boy or girl can use the knowledge learned in the story to guide his or her behavior.

Register for your FREE webinar training now and discover the key to unlocking childhood Autism.

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What Are Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

ASD is a group of developmental disabilities that greatly affect a person’s social, communication and behavioral abilities that a person typically deals with throughout their lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate the rate of autism occurrence is 1 in 100 children in the United States. This high number of occurrences makes ASD more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. There is not a blood test or x-ray that can detect autism. It is generally diagnosed through observation in the areas listed below. Autism has a wide range of symptoms and looks differently with each child, but typically includes difficulty in one or more areas each category listed:


* Poor or limited eye contact

* Limited language skills, both receptive and expressive, verbal and nonverbal.

* Repetition or echoing of phrases in place of normal language usage

* Loss of language skills as a toddler

* Lack of reciprocate language skills when language is present


* Lack of shared attention with others

* Inability to play with other children, parallel play may exist.

* Not showing an interest in other people, sometimes even significant others such as parents.

* Not able to understand and learn social cues most children pick up on naturally.


* Unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, feel or sound.

* Little or no fear of common things.

* Unusual or unrealistic fears.

* Craving physical contact or avoiding physical contact.

* Restricted or limited interests; repetitive patterns of behavior.

* Difficulty with changes in routine.

* Insistence on things being done the same way.

* Using behavior as a means to communicate needs.

* Using people as objects to get things done.

ASD is a complicated disorder and affects 1 in 100 children according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It affects boys 4:1 when compared to girls. Most children are diagnosed as young as age 3 by a pediatrician, neurologist or developmental specialist. Some children will show signs of autism but not be diagnosed. The key is know what to look for and be sure all areas listed above have at least one or more characteristic observable in a child. If as a parent you feel certain that something is going on with your child and the doctors won’t listen, or feel you are being over protecting, get a second opinion by someone trained in autism. Most of the time, parents are generally accurate in their assessment of their child. After all, a parent knows their child better than anyone else.

Kerri Duncan has been supporting families with children diagnosed with autism. She aims to increase awareness and educate those involved in the lives of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you need more information and support, click here to see how she can help you and your child reach a brighter tomorrow.

For more information on ASD, contact Kerri Duncan, Ed.D., BCaBA 417.860.7640 or go to http://www.facebook.com/hart4autism.

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What Is Asperger’s Syndrome And How Does It Affect Adults?

Asperger’s syndrome is a development disorder related to the autistic spectrum, but at a much higher level of functioning. Unlike those with autism, those who have Asperger’s syndrome generally learn the same way average people do, learning to speak at a young age and eventually attending school in the same classes and at the same age of their peers. Like autism however, those with Asperger’s syndrome may have trouble understanding social or communication skills. This often results in being viewed as ‘weird’ by those around them who aren’t familiar with the disorder.

Asperger’s syndrome is typically diagnosed at an early age, but because those who have it are on the higher functioning end of the autism scale, it can go undiagnosed well into adulthood. This has been especially common in the past when the disorder wasn’t as well known and understood as it has become in recent years. Similar to autism, there is no cure and the exact cause of the disorder is unknown, however, it is possible to manage the symptoms, including clumsiness, obsessive routines, and sensitivity to environment changes. This is done with behavioral therapy, resulting in many adults with Asperger’s syndrome appearing mostly ‘normal’ with the exception of lack of social skills.

The lack of social skills doesn’t mean that all adults with Asperger’s appear rude, but rather they have trouble understanding social cues. For example, it’s not uncommon for those with Asperger’s syndrome to share a deep passion for something, whether it be horses or molecules. They may want to talk about this passion constantly, despite the listener growing visibly annoyed. This is because they don’t understand that sighing or looking at a watch means the listener is uninterested.

Due to this extreme passion, many adults with Asperger’s syndrome end up excelling in careers involving their interest. It’s not uncommon for adults with Asperger’s to become CEO’s or other high ranking positions, because unlike other employees, they don’t spend their time socializing with others, but rather learning as much as humanly possible about their passion.

What is the Asperger syndrome diagnostic scale?

The Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale, also known as ASDS, is a tool used to screen for children who might meet criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome. This quickly administered standardized test only takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. It is appropriate for children ages five through 18 years old. Autism experts Brenda Smith Myles, Stacy Jones-Bock, and Richard L. Simpson first published the ASDS in 2000.

The screening tool is standardized and uses percentiles to give an AS Quotient. This score predicts the likelihood that a child or adolescent has Asperger’s Syndrome. The test covers behaviors across several domains, including cognitive, maladaptive, social, sensory, motor, and language. The behaviors addressed are those behaviors typically seen in children with Asperger’s, as well as behaviors that are seen in children without an Autistic Disorder. The test contains 50 questions, all which are answered with a yes or no to indicate whether the behavior occurs.

The Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale has an administrative qualification level of B. This means that individuals who administer the ASDS must have a degree from an accredited four-year college. This degree must be completed in psychology, counseling, or speech and language pathology. The individual must also have completed coursework in test interpretation, psychometrics, educational statistics, or measurement theory or a license indicating appropriate training in the ethics and competency required for using psychological tests.

The respondent for the ASDS can be one of several individuals who are very familiar with the child or adolescent being tested. Parents and siblings are often the primary respondents. The child’s service providers, such as speech and language pathologists, therapists, and teachers can also act as respondents.

The Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale cannot be used in isolation to provide a diagnosis of Asperger’s. The ASDS is a screening tool to indicate the likelihood of the individual having Asperger’s. The AS Quotient can be used to indicate whether a professional should further evaluate the child in order to receive an official formal diagnosis.

One concern with the ASDS is that it has not been shown to reliably differentiate between Asperger Syndrome and the other subtypes of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since the symptoms of Asperger are also similar to the symptoms of PDD-NOS and Autistic Disorder, a qualified team of autism professionals must do further evaluation. This can help determine what subset of Autism Spectrum Disorder the individual has.

A benefit of the ASDS is that it not only provides an overall AS Quotient, but it also gives scores for each of the individual domains on the test. The individual results in the cognitive, language, social, maladaptive, and sensorimotor subscales can assist the professional in determining specific areas of deficit and difficulty in the child. These scores can be especially helpful in treatment planning and determining areas for further testing.

The results of the ADSD also have other non-clinical purposes. They can also be used to help draft goals for the child’s IEP or school intervention plan. The test can also be given annually as a way to measure growth and progress across the different domains in an individual already diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

What types of Asperger’s tests are available for adults?

Like previously stated, Asperger syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by significant impairments in social interaction and stereotyped patterns of behavior. What distinguishes Asperger Syndrome from other Autism Spectrum Disorders is the lack of any significant delay in language or cognitive ability. Asperger Syndrome is not as easy to diagnose as other disorders of the Autism Spectrum, so it is quite common for a person with Asperger to receive the diagnosis as an adult, even though the problems began in childhood. There are several tests and assessments that are designed to determine whether an adult has Asperger Syndrome or one of the other Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The ADI (Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised) is an interview-based assessment that is used to ask questions of a parent, or if the parent is not available, some other person who knew the individual as a child. The questions are designed to determine whether the adult had problems with social interactions as a child, and to rule out other forms of autism. The ADI is effective, but it is limited since the parent may no longer be available, and it takes about three hours to administer.

The AQ (Autism Spectrum Quotient) is a much shorter screening device used to identify adults who may have Asperger Syndrome or Autism. This instrument contains 50 questions that relate to the areas of social skill, attention switching, attention to detail, communication and imagination. The subject responds to each question with “definitely agree,” “slightly agree,” “slightly disagree” and “definitely disagree.” The responses to these questions show the degree to which the subject has features typical of people with Autism or Asperger Syndrome.

Another Asperger screening instrument is the EQ (Empathy Quotient), a 15 item questionnaire used to determine the degree to which an individual cannot understand the feelings and thoughts of others. Though this is a really short assessment that focuses on only one area of development, it has a very strong correlation with the presence of Asperger Syndrome.

As a whole, Asperger’s is a relatively misunderstood type of autism, especially on the Internet. Visit Asperger’s in Adults to read more about Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning autism.

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