Sunday, May 23, 2010

High Functioning Autism - The Symptoms and Signs Explained

High Functioning Autism (HFA) is similar to classic autism with a few differences. High Functioning Autism is an informal term given to those with autism who have an IQ of 80 or above. This labeling needs to be done carefully since determination of IQ scores is sometimes difficult to measure using standard measurement instruments. People with HFA can speak, read, and write; basically they are not cognitively challenged. Many diagnosed with HFA are living independently. Many people with High Functioning Autism do not need constant care. Some live independently while others live in a group living situation. Most are able to function independently and hold down full or part time jobs. Contrary to those with traditional autism, people with High Functioning Autism are more tolerant of change. People with HFA are more accepting of change as long time to prepare is available.
Still sensory issues occupied with HFA exist. The "tics" are still present although the person may not even notice that they are fidgeting.
Despite the higher IQ's of those classified as someone with High Functioning Autism, people might still have a delay in communicating events and use less emotion in their speech. They also might continue to speak even though their audience may have lost interest and expressed nonverbal cues indicating that.
People with High Functioning Autism like others on the autistic spectrum, like routine and order. They may also stick to a limited wardrobe. Even with the higher IQ and more ability to function independently, social interaction may still be difficult. They may be seen as overly serious or earnest, and because of the social delays interaction in a "normal" social scenario may be hampered. People described as having High Functioning Autism have difficulty initiating love and friendship relationships and are often viewed and being too intelligent or nerdy. Oftentimes this leads to low self-esteem or loneliness. These people are often labeled as odd or are often targets of bullying.
Some people have a slight difficulty with motor skills and coordination. This may be seen as being clumsy or awkward. Sensory motor dysfunction is often associated with those who have HFA. These motor skills can be helped with physical therapy. Some may also harbor habitual movement. People with HFA don't lack empathy although they do not know how to express it.
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