In a recent Active Beat article, Catherine Roberts talks about 10 “classic symptoms” that are helpful for identifying the syndrome. In summary, they are:
- Failure to Develop Friendships
- Selective Mutism
- Inability to Empathize
- Unable to Make Eye Contact or Forcing Eye Contact
- Social Awkwardness
- Narrowed Interests
- Sticking to Routine
- Literal Interpretations
- Excellent Pattern Recognition
- Poor Motor Skills
Interestingly, list list leaves off the most important symptom — which was finally acknowledged in the DSM V. It’s the suffering from sensory overload. From my volunteer work coaching communication skills to young people on the autism spectrum, I can honestly say this is the single most important criteria. And it is the reason for every item on the list of ten above.
Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are first and foremost sensory overload disorders. Everything else is secondary. Just ask anyone who is on the spectrum — they’ll verify that.
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