5 Symptoms of High-Functioning Autism

High Functioning Autism Symptoms

  • Emotional Sensitivity
  • Fixation on Particular Subjects or Ideas
  • Linguistic Oddities
  • Social Difficulties
  • Problems Processing Physical Sensations

Diagnosis rates for autism continue to rise, especially as parents and professionals become more familiar with the symptoms for high-functioning autism. Many patients are getting the assistance they need to live full, productive lives because their unusual behaviors are no longer seen as simple social awkwardness or eccentricity. As more caring medical and mental health professionals learn to recognize the most common symptoms of autism, the number of interventions available to people with autism will rise.

Emotional Sensitivity

Although often overlooked, sensitivity to emotions is a common issue for people on the high end of the autism spectrum. These individuals can function in day-to-day life but struggle to control their emotions the same way that neurotypical, or non-autistic people, are able to do. For example, a frustrating morning experience like running out of milk or being cut off while driving can cause irritability and difficulty concentrating for the rest of the day. People with autism may also have unusually intense emotional reactions compared to the rest of the population.

Fixation on Particular Subjects or Ideas

Continually discussing the same topics in conversation, obsessively playing the same song repeatedly or reading every article written about a certain topic are some ways that autistic fixations can manifest. These interests can be negative if they take over the individual’s life or interfere with their relationships with others. Of course, these obsessive tendencies can also be helpful; Dan Aykroyd,writer and star in the hit film Ghostbusters, was inspired by his focus on ghosts and the paranormal. Many other high-functioning autistic individuals have used their focus on mathematics, biology or writing to inspire successful careers.

Linguistic Oddities

Children on the low-functioning end of the autism spectrum usually struggle with learning to speak, building vocabulary and holding conversations with others. Their counterparts on the higher end of the spectrum may start talking much earlier than normal and often display an impressive vocabulary.

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