• Sibling Affection

    Registered members

    Dr. Smith describes how to differentiate the flexible and varied affectionate actions of typically developing children from the tolerance or avoidance of affection often evident in children at risk for an autism spectrum disorder.

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  • Lack of Affection with Dad

    Registered members

    Dr. Smith discusses how children on the spectrum may reject or become distressed by their parents' attempts to comfort or be affectionate towards them.

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  • The Duck Song

    Registered members

    The following clip shows how some children with autism lack the ability to appropriately respond to the emotions of others. In contrast to his classmates who comfort their teacher who is pretending to cry after reading a story, Christian remains seated. He does not exhibit concern or attempt to comfort his teacher; rather, he is nonresponsive to her emotion.

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  • Gabriel Hugs Mom

    Registered members

    Gabriel hugs his mother, but does not seem to be expressing genuine affection. He focuses on what he wants and needs, in this case TV, looks away from his mother, and does not seem to reciprocate (his hug is a bit stiff and limited). When he is told he cannot watch TV, he quickly moves on.

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Social Communication and Social Interaction

Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history

Social Emotional Reciprocity

Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.

Non-verbal Communicative Behaviors

Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.

Understanding & Maintaining Relationships

Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.

Restricted and Repetitive Patterns of Behavior

Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history

Stereotyped Motor Movements and Speech

Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypies, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).

Routines, Sameness, Rituals

Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns or verbal nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat food every day).

Preoccupations -Interests or Objects

Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).

Sensitivity to Sensory Input

Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g., apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).

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