Traits of High-Functioning Autism that Teachers May View as Misbehavior

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Traits of the disorder that often look like misconduct include the following:

~~ A need for predictability and routine

~~ A tendency to respond based on association and memory, which leads the youngster to repeat familiar behaviors even when they produce consistently negative results

~~ An overly reactive sensory system that makes ordinary noise, smell or touch irritating or intolerable

~~ Considerable difficulty organizing himself to do something productive in undirected play activities, in stimulating public situations, or when waiting

~~ Emotional responses that are apt to be extreme and are often based on immediate events, leading to rapid changes (e.g., from laughing to screaming)

~~ Lack of embarrassment or concern about other people's impressions of them

~~ Limited ability to recognize another person's perspective or opinion or to empathize with others

~~ Poor recognition of public versus private behavior

~~ Problems shifting attention

~~ Problems transitioning from one activity to another

~~ Recovery from emotional upset is often immediate once the problem is removed, but for some kids on the spectrum, irritability and secondary upsets can continue for hours

~~ Significant difficulties with understanding non-verbal cues, especially in group situations


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