Posts Tagged ‘parents of autistic kids’

What are the physical characteristics of autism?

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

There are not any outward physical characteristics of autism, you would probably not be able to look at a person and immediately notice that he or she is autistic?

That is until you try to communicate with that person. Generally, the first sign that a person is autistic is when he speaks or when he won’t make eye contact.


Maybe some of the physical characteristics of autism could be classified as repetitive or stereotypical movements, for example finger flicking, hitting their desks, or tapping a pencils.


While these actions in themselves aren’t an indication of autism, if the action is repetitive to the point of annoyance for those around them, with the person being oblivious to the irritation they have become to others.

Some of the more common signs of autism are:


* Poor upper body strength

* Low facial muscle tone

* Sometimes pale skin

* Repetitive stereotypical movements, such as head banging, finger   flicking, rocking etc.

* Impaired motor skills (motor and fine)


Research continues into this complex disorder, there are some rough guidelines established for identifying the physical characteristics and behaviors that could indicate the possibility of autism.


These are by no means complete lists and in all cases if autism is suspected a diagnosis of autism should be sought from a professional such as the child’s G.P. who will be able to advise you on the possibility of autism and refer you on to a specialist.


Other signs of autism in preschool children can include:

  • Shying away from physical closeness or cuddles
  • Treating people in the same manner as objects
  • Either lack of crying or excessive crying
  • Repetitive stereotypical movements or obsessive play with one item or toy
  • The need for routine without exception


After a diagnosis of autism there are specific treatments that can help with the symptoms of autism such as lack of verbal and non-verbal communication skills and social, imagination and interaction skills deficits.


One treatments used for almost twenty years by parents of autistic kids is social stories. Designed by therapist Carol Gray they were first introduced to help parents of autistic kids and professionals involved with the care and well being of autistic children to teach them appropriate social skills and behaviors.

Since there first introduction social stories have evolved into one of the major tools used for teaching social, communication, imagination and interaction skills to autistic children. They use visual representations and appropriate text to describe in detail giving key focus to the social cues the autistic child needs to learn the skill or behavior being mastered.


Parents of autistic kids and professionals such as teachers use social stories widely to help autistic children find clarity, learn and re-enforce vital, everyday and occasional skills they struggle to master or understand.


For example, tooth brushing, using the toilet or learning what is death, birth, a wedding or other skills such as claming down, asking questions and making friends.

To understand more about how social stories can help alleviate the symptoms of autism associated with the physical characteristics and behaviors of autism and develop vital social and communication skills for your autistic child visit one of the following sites: