Autism is a mental disorder that is not so publicly discussed, since it is considered something of a taboo in many African societies.
Following the recent confession from Elon Musk having suffered from autism since childhood, the incident has brought more light and awareness to this topic.
For Elon Musk to proudly declare he has Asperger's is significant, considering he's one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Below are some of the signs that someone might have Autism:
1. Social challenges.
Some people with ASD find it hard to make friends or interact with others.
Others have no trouble making friends but prefer to stay home alone rather than go out in public.
Autism in children can be seen whereby they have a restricted social circle, seclede themselves from groupings, and also are unwilling to share toys.
2. Dependent on routines.
People with high-functioning ASD tend to follow very strict routines when it comes to daily activities like eating, sleeping, dressing, bathing, brushing their teeth, and going to school.
Any deviation from their routine can trigger extreme distress.
3. Strong dislike of change.
People suffering from autism have strong negative reactions to changes in their environment.
They might become anxious if something new happens, even if it is a positive change.
They might also be unable to cope with sudden changes in plans or schedules.
Change may cause them to be highly activated, dormant or irritated.
4. Intense interest in objects or topics.
Some people with ASD have intense obsessions about specific topics such as trains, numbers, animals.
Their memory is on another level.
5. High focus on details.
An autistic person might spend hours looking at a single object, or obsessively counting items.
They are very specific.
6. Linguistic issues.
Learning to speak, building vocabulary, or being able to maintain conversations with others are common issues on the high-functioning end of autism.
7. Fixation on particular ideas or subjects.
Autistic fixations can be extremely persistent and difficult to change.
An autistic person may have one obsession that lasts for years.
8. Uncommon movement patterns.
One of the most common movement patterns in individuals with autism is toe walking.
By walking on their toes and not putting too much weight on the rest of the body, they are likely to experience foot pain, hammertoe, or high tension in their toes.
Bobbing shoulders is also another movement pattern they experience.
9. High focus on self.
High-functioning autistics often don't notice other people's emotions and feelings.
Instead, they focus on themselves and what they want to do.
They might talk excessively about themselves, not pay attention to other people's emotions or needs, thus having difficulties in building deep relationships.
10. Sensory processing issues.
People with autism might have difficulty distinguishing between sensory stimuli such as light touch, sound, taste, smell, and sight.
They might also have problems with identifying objects and learning how to communicate using sign language.
11. Repetitive habits.
High-functioning autism may manifest through repetitive, often restrictive habits that can interfere with a person's daily life. These behaviours include:
- Sticking to one type of food. It's common for people with high-function autism to eat only certain foods. They might refuse to try new foods because they're afraid of getting sick.
- Using the same set of clothes every day. A lot of people with high-function autistic wear the same outfit every single day. They might feel uncomfortable wearing anything else.
- Using the same set of tools every day. People with high-functional autism might use the same tools over and over again. They might get frustrated when they need to use another tool.
Several medical conditions are associated with autism, and they are often referred co-occurring conditions.
These can include seizures, sensory sensitivities, anxiety, and sleep disturbances as well as gastrointestinal, metabolic, and immune dysregulation.
If you experience such, talk with your doctor to identify and treat such conditions.