• What Are the Distinguishing Characteristics of High Functioning Autism?

    Individuals who are on the autism spectrum all have unique differences and the degrees of severity of their challenges can vary widely. Many children with autism are high functioning. Broadly speaking, high functioning means that these individuals are more capable of caring for themselves and being productive members of society than individuals with severe symptoms of autism. However, children with high functioning autism can still benefit from working with a behavioral therapy provider. Parents who suspect that their children might be developing atypically can keep notes of their observations.

    Language Skills

    Children with high functioning autism do not generally display clinically significant delays in language acquisition and use. However, they may have problems with pragmatic language use , which refers to the use of language in a social context. For example, they might have trouble participating in conversations and they may have trouble understanding the use of abstract language such as sarcasm. They might speak with an unusual pitch, intonation, or rhythm.

    Social Skills

    Some individuals who have high functioning autism display difficulty in social interactions. Even though they may want to make friends, they might not know how to do so. As a result, others might mistakenly perceive these individuals as being aloof or detached. It’s also possible for these children to more easily socialize with others who are much older or younger than them. When interacting with others, children with high functioning autism might have trouble using or interpreting body language and facial expressions correctly.

    Behavioral Issues

    Parents may notice that their children have atypical behavioral issues or patterns. For example, they may display an obsessive interest in specific topics. These children may have unusually strong reactions to stimuli like flickering lights or loud noises. They might also engage in atypical, repetitive play.

    The team at Star of CA offers assistance to individuals with all types and degrees of autism, including high functioning autism. Call our center for autism and related disorders in Ventura at (805) 644-7827 and request a consultation. A behavioral therapy provider will be happy to answer your questions.