Many people with autism have symptoms similar to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But these symptoms, especially problems with social relationships, are more severe for people with autism.
About 10% of people with autism have some form of savant skills-special limited gifts such as memorizing lists, calculating calendar dates, drawing, or musical ability.
Many people with autism have unusual sensory perceptions. For example, they may describe a light touch as painful and deep pressure as providing a calming feeling. Others may not feel pain at all. Some people with autism have strong food likes and dislikes and unusual preoccupations.
Sleep problems occur in about 40% to 70% of people with autism.
Almost half of the children who have autism spectrum disorders tend to “wander off” from a caregiver, or “elope.” For many caregivers of these children, elopement is one of the most stressful behaviors they must learn to cope with. Studies show that behavioral assessment interventions, such as applied behavioral analysis, may reduce the number of times a child wanders off.
Autism is one of several types of autism spectrum disorders(ASDs), once known as pervasive developmental disorders. It is not unusual for autism to be confused with other ASDs, such as Asperger’s syndrome, or to have overlapping symptoms. A similar condition is called unspecified neurodevelopmental disorder. This condition occurs when children display similar behaviors but do not meet the criteria for autism. Also, other conditions with similar symptoms may also have similarities to or occur with autism.