The adjective autistic to describe someone with the medical condition called autism. The word itself comes from the 1912 German term Autismus, a combination of the Greek autos, “self,” and the adjectival ending istic. Some autistic people are severely disabled, while others have only small challenges. To be Autistic is to have a disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate with others. Autistic traits include being withdrawn, socially unaware, and in some cases having extraordinary abilities in music or math. Some people who are autistic are extremely intelligent, while others have trouble learning. It’s not yet known what causes someone to be autistic.
Below are three different types of Autism Spectrum Disorders. However, now they are all called “autism spectrum disorders.”
- Autistic Disorder (also called “classic” autism) This is what most people think of when hearing the word “autism.”
- Asperger Syndrome – Deficits in social interaction and restricted patterns of interest
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also called “atypical autism”)
The signs of Autism
Autistic meaning anti-social?
There is delayed speech development (for example, speaking less than 50 different words by the age of two), or not speaking at all. They frequently repeat set words and phrases. Their speech sounds very monotonous or flat. Autistic children prefer to communicate using single words, despite being able to speak in sentences. With regards to responding to others Autistic children do not respond to their name being called, despite having normal hearing. They often reject cuddles initiated by a parent (although they may initiate cuddles themselves). In addition, sometimes they react unusually negatively when asked to do something by someone else.
Autistic meaning non-vocal?
Autistic children are not being aware of other people’s personal space, or being unusually intolerant of people entering their own personal space. They have little interest in interacting with other people, including children of a similar age. Autistic children do not enjoy situations that most children of their age like, such as birthday parties. They prefer to play alone, rather than asking others to play with them. Autistic children rarely use gestures or facial expressions when communicating and avoid eye contact.
Autistic meaning ‘problem child’?
Restrictive, repetitive and stereotypic behaviour patterns
Autistic children have repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth, or flicking their fingers. They play with toys in a repetitive and unimaginative way, such as lining blocks up in order of size or colour, rather than using them to build something. Autistic children prefer to have a familiar routine and get extremely upset if there are changes to this routine. Autistic children having a strong like or dislike of certain foods based on the texture or colour of the food as much as the taste. They have unusual sensory interests – for example, Autistic children sniff toys, objects or people inappropriately.
In summary, autism is a spectrum and there is no one “autistic meaning” – every individual is just that; an individual, and deserves to be treated and assisted as such.