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high functioning autism

What does high functioning autism look like

High-Functioning Autism

High-functioning autism is an informal term that refers to autistic people who speak, read, write, and manage ordinary life skills without much assistance. Autism is a renowned neurodevelopmental disorder that causes a broad range of challenges in an individual’s life regarding social skills, repetitive behavior, and communication. In this blog, we will look after some conditions concerning high-functioning autism.

High-functioning Autism Brain

The damage to the brain is one of the critical reasons for autism. In high-functioning autism, the cerebellum is the brain region that gets affected. Researchers have concluded that neurons that lack the RNF 8 protein have formed almost 50 percent synapses — the brain connections that allow neurons to send signals to each other. Here, a defective gene linked to autism influence the connectivity of neurons and failed to establish the usual connection with each other.

High-functioning Autism Symptoms

People with high-functioning autism experience a hard time with social interaction and communication. They do not usually read social cues and might find it challenging to make friends. They get so stressed or annoyed by a social situation that they try to shut down.

Individuals on the spectrum who experience high-functioning autism can also strictly devote themselves to routine and order. They might have repetitive behavior and restrictive habits that might not seem normal to others.

There is a wide range of examples of how they deal with school and work. Some do extraordinarily well in school, while others feel overwhelmed and can not concentrate. Some can hold a job well, while others find it very challenging. It all depends upon the individual and the person’s situation. But even for someone on the spectrum who can do good in life, the common symptom among those clinically diagnosed with ASD is underdeveloped skills.

High-functioning Autism Behavior Problems

Like all the individuals on the autism spectrum, people with this neurological condition also experience a hard time with social interaction and communication. They do not naturally read social indications and find it challenging to make friends. The worst part is they get so stressed by a social situation that they shut down.

The guardians may notice that young autistics find it challenging to interact with peers. The primary behavioral problems include:

  • A limited social circle (or just one friend).
  • Sharing issues with toys and materialistic things.
  • Difficulty completing group activities.

High-functioning Autism and Anger

High-functioning autism in children can cause a reoccurrence of extreme anger. They often engage in overthinking or repetitive thinking. A combination of excessive thinking with angry thoughts can turn into anger ruminations.

The frustration experienced by individuals with this neurological disorder is primarily due to reliving upsetting moments and the inability to express emotions in a way others can understand. It can result in outbursts or irritability, and anger.

Anger issues are common in children dealing with this mental condition as they find it challenging to control impulse and emotional regulation. Additional factors such as lack of sleep, illness, and anxiety can also affect or lessen their ability to control anger.

Aggression and meltdowns are common impulse control issues among high-functioning autistic children, as one out of four children displays aggressive behaviors due to this mental disorder. Children’s immediate reaction by acting out aggressively makes them feel better and at least some degree of situation control.

High-functioning Autism Vs. Asperger’s

Only people with severe symptoms were clinically diagnosed with autism for a long duration. Later in the 1990s, milder forms started getting attention, including high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Both the medical conditions share several similar symptoms such as:

  • emotional sensitivity
  • linguistic oddities
  • social difficulties
  • fixation on specific subjects and ideas
  • devotion to routines
  • dislike of change
  • problem processing physical sensations
  • development of repetitive or restrictive habits

One can say Asperger’s disease is a high-functioning type of Autism Spectrum Disorder. It means the symptoms are less severe than other forms of autism spectrum disorders. The symptoms of Asperger’s disease start at the early stage of life when one can notice that such individuals do not make eye contact. You may also find them awkward in social situations as they do not know what to say and how to respond when someone talks.

It is common in people dealing with both neurological conditions that they usually miss cues that are pretty clear to others. They even fail to understand body language or the expression on people’s faces. Another sign is the child may show less or no emotional sensitivity. They may not laugh at a joke or may not smile when they are happy. Or they may speak in a flat tone.

If your child has Asperger’s disease, they may talk about their likes and dislikes and focus intensely on one subject like rocks or football stats. And they might repeat themselves without being aware of it, especially on a topic that fascinates them. Children with this neurological condition do not like change. So, they may eat the same food every day or experience trouble moving from one class to other during the school day.

Overall, high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome causes the same symptoms, but they didn’t have delays in:

  • cognitive development
  • the use of language
  • development of adaptive behavior
  • having age-appropriate self-help skills
  • the development of curiosity about the environment

High-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

High-functioning autism spectrum disorder is a severe developmental disorder resulting in significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. People with ASD may interact, communicate, behave, and learn in different ways from other individuals.

The learning, thinking, and severe problem-solving abilities of people with high-functioning ASD can range from severely challenged to gifted. Some individuals with this neurological condition need help in performing their daily life activities, while others need less. A diagnosis of high-functioning ASD now includes several problems that doctors usually diagnose separately; autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, and Asperger’s syndrome.

People with high-functioning ASD usually have problems with emotional, social, and communication skills. They might repeat specific behaviors and do not want any change in their daily activities. They also have different measures of learning, reacting to things, or paying attention. ASD signs start during early childhood and last throughout a person’s whole life.

Children or adults with this neurological condition might:

  • fail to look at the objects when someone points at them
  • not point at things on the correct side
  • avoid eye contact and always wants to be alone
  • experience trouble relating to people or understanding their feelings
  • repeat actions over and over again
  • show unusual reactions to the way things smell, look, taste, or sound

Diagnosing high-functioning ASD can be challenging since there is no specific medical test, like a blood test, to analyze the disorder. It can sometimes be diagnosed at 18 months or younger.

By the age of 2, a diagnosis by an experienced healthcare professional can be reliable and help get the necessary treatment as soon as possible. However, children do not get a final diagnosis until they get much older. A delay in diagnosis can further result in a delay in the treatment.

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