The Triad of Impairment
Interpersonal relationships and social interactions
To an ASD child a frown, a smile or a wink has virtually no meaning. They have great difficulty in understanding these cues. Consequently they often struggle to form any reciprocal bond even within their own family. Likewise they are undermined in any interaction or playing with other non ASD children and such attempts increases anxiety in them.
Surprisingly, dogs as companions and friends for ASD children are a success story. Dogs do not see the disability and dote on the child regardless. These kids have in these pets the closest thing to a best friend and a loyal companion.
All forms of verbal and non-verbal communication
ASD affected children experience a profound level of inability to develop and express all forms of no-verbal communication. From childhood onwards some ASD affected individuals will need to learn non-verbal communication however some will never develop speech. Those that do rarely are able to communicate to a minimal degree.
Ability to cope with change and unfamiliar environments and routines
ASD affected children experience heightened anxiety with any change in their routines and environment. Departures from a structured, regular routine in every detail of home life can lead to an emotional ‘meltdown’ in the child.
Extreme reaction and anxiety prompted by light, taste, touch, smell, temperature and pain are common.
Persistent and concerted repetition of certain actions such as hand flapping or rocking are typical.
Many ASD children wander off and repeatedly seek to bypass locks to doors and gates. They do not understand in the least the danger with cars and will innocently walk right into one on a busy street.