Dr. Pearson's Blog

Specializing in providing therapy and evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults coping with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism/Asperger's Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, and behavioral issues.


Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Social Difficulties:

Difficulty with Back and Forth Social Approach: This may involve unusual social initiation (licking or inappropriate touch), difficulty with back and forth communication, problems initiating or responding to sharing of information, inappropriate response to emotions of others (no offering of comfort or inappropriate response to praise), doesn’t initiate social interactions, poor imitation of social behaviors

Problems with Nonverbal Communication: This can include poor eye contact, inappropriate use of gestures, abnormal speech, abnormal body posturing (facing away from others), inappropriate expression of emotions (too little or too much), difficulty interpreting emotions of others, problems coordinating verbal and nonverbal communication

Difficulty Developing and Maintaining Relationships: This often involves problems with empathy, difficulty understanding social norms or social cues, limited or no imaginary play (in a child greater than 4 years old), problems making friends or playing cooperatively, a lack of interest in socializing with peers

Restricted, Repetitive Patterns of Behavior, Interests or Activities:

Odd or Repetitive Speech:This can include overly formal speech, using jargon, echolalia (immediate or delayed repetition of words or phrases), obsessive discussion of a certain topic, difficulty with choosing appropriate pronouns

Odd or Repetitive Movements: This may involve hand flapping, rocking back and forth, spinning, toe walking, unusual facial grimacing, repetitive picking

Odd or Repetitive Use of Objects: This often involves lining up toys, repetitively opening and closing doors or turning lights on and off, nonfunctional play (waving sticks or dropping items)

Difficulty with Transitions or Rigid/Literal Thinking: This can include difficulty coping when routines are disrupted, repetitive questioning about a certain topic, compulsions, difficulty understanding humor or sarcasm, rigid and inflexible interpretation and adherence to rules

Restricted or Fixated Interests: This may involve obsessions, a narrow range of interests, overly perfectionistic, unusual fears, attachment to unusual inanimate objects (i.e. rubber band or piece of string), excessive interest in parts of objects

Sensory Issues: This can include high tolerance for pain, sensitive to certain textures (i.e. sand, grass, sticky), looking at objects from an unusual angle or squinting of eyes (not related to vision impairments), extreme interest in watching objects spin, inappropriate response to certain sounds, unusual exploration of objects (licking, mouthing or eating non-food objects)