Characteristics of a person with autism

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  Jul 24, 2020

Characteristics of a person with autism



According to the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have persistent deficits in social communication. They also show limited, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities (APA, 2015).


On the other hand, the World Health Organization and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) handbook in its 10th edition, mentions autism as a pervasive developmental disorder (ADHD). The triad of diagnostic symptoms is characterized by qualitative abnormalities in social transactions, ways of communication as well as by a limited, stereotypical, repetitive repertoire of interests and activities. Autism mainly affects males with a ratio of 3: 4 compared to females (ICD-10, 2011).


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 More specifically, people with autism:


 They fail to initiate or respond appropriately to social interactions.


 They fail to introduce or maintain a topic of discussion.


 Deficiencies also appear in communication behaviors, such as insufficiently integrated verbal and non-verbal communication, eye contact and body language, which are used for social conciliation. In some cases, the language does not develop at all.


 They may also be hyper- or reactive to sensory information in the environment (for example in sounds).


 They show extremely limited interests (eg numbers, letters), which are abnormal in intensity or focus (APA, 2015).



Bibliographical references

American Psychiatric Association (2015). Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-5. K. Gotzamanis (Ed.). Athens: Litsa Medical Publications.

Stefanis, K., Soldatos, K., & Mavreas, V. (2011). ICD-10 Classification of Mental Disorders and Behavioral Disorders. K. Stefanis, K. Soldatos, & V. Mavreas, (Ed.). Geneva-Athens: Beta.



Key Words: Autism, Parental Counseling


WriterNtantamis Dimitrios-Georgios, M.Ed.




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