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Current time:0:00Total duration:10:04

Video transcript

so autism spectrum disorder is a really broad social disorder that affects the way that someone communicates and interacts with other people and the reason that I say it's a really broad disorder the reason we call it a spectrum disorder is because each person with autism spectrum disorder is affected a little differently no two people with autism structure disorder are exactly the same so we say that different people with autism spectrum disorder follow along a spectrum and along this spectrum there are different symptoms different challenges and different abilities that vary a lot in severity and vary a lot between different people with autism spectrum disorder so while this is a spectrum disorder and everyone with autism spectrum disorder has different experiences there are a few key signs that are common among people with autism spectrum disorder and we're going to check these out so that we can understand a little bit more about what autism spectrum disorder is so there are a few different ways that we could characterize these common signs of autism spectrum disorder I'm just going to do it in this way but there are some other possible ways out there too so first let's pop down communication and social signs this will be our first category here and next will write down behavioral signs and then our last category let's put responses to environmental stimuli sort of just the way someone responds to things that they see or they encounter and this will make more sense as we get to it all right so let's start off by looking at this first category here communication and social signs so I'm going to draw a face here and I'm going to draw this expression here that's supposed to look like boredom now I'm no artist so you might need to kind of use your imagination here to see the boredom but that's what it's supposed to be so for someone with autism spectrum disorder they might not really notice or pick up on this facial expression here and realize that this person is trying to indicate that they're bored they might have trouble noticing these sorts of nonverbal cues that are often used when people chat so someone with autism spectrum disorder might continue a conversation with this person here and not really pick up on this boredom because they aren't really aware of this nonverbal cue this facial expression that's supposed to show boredom so let's look at another nonverbal cue so we get a better idea so maybe instead of being bored this person might be I don't know getting a little defensive for some reason so let's cross their arms here like this the way we sometimes do when we're feeling defensive and this might be this person's way of showing that they're getting defensive about something in the conversation and again for someone with autism spectrum disorder they might not really see this arm crossing as a sign of defensiveness this nonverbal cue doesn't really indicate to them that this person here is feeling defensive so they might continue on with the conversation as though nothing's happening because this arm crossing is not really telling them anything so maybe we can kind of summarize this as trouble understanding the emotions and behaviors of others so this is one of the types of communication and social signs that we see in someone with autism spectrum disorder and again keep in mind that autism spectrum disorder is just that it's a spectrum so people might have different degrees of trouble understanding the behaviors of others maybe a little maybe a lot it varies a lot between different people with the disorder but you can imagine here that if someone with autism spectrum disorder doesn't quite see and read the emotions and behaviors of others if they don't quite understand communication in the same way as people without autism spectrum disorder do well this can make it a little tricky for them to communicate with others right so for children with autism spectrum disorder they might not quite know how to express themselves and communicate what they need or what they want so they might grab or scream because they don't really have any other way to get what they need or what they want and for kids that are a bit older and have autism spectrum disorder well not really being able to see or read the emotions of others and not really being able to communicate in these sorts of ways themselves this can make it a little tricky for them to connect with other people so sometimes for people with autism spectrum disorder they might struggle to fit into a group of people or maybe they just prefer to hang out on their own alright so if we move to our next category here we've got behavioral signs of autism spectrum disorder so to check out some of these let's actually make a graph here showing different levels of interest in activities and stay with me here it'll it'll make more sense as we go along so let's make our y-axis of our graph here level of interest and we'll use this pig color here to we might expect for a kid and we'll use this green color here to draw what we might see for a kid with autism spectrum disorder and let's put a few different activities down here so we'll do that on our x-axis so maybe we'll pop down activities or interests like sports maybe we'll pop down soccer and horseback riding and let's put down interesting cars and playing with blocks so these are some of our activities and we'll look at the different levels of interests that we might expect kids to have in these activities so maybe for horseback riding here we could kind of say that we would expect a kid to be about this interested in horseback riding is it's kind of arbitrary but you know some kids like horseback riding and some kids don't so we could kind of let's put that about here now for me I loved horseback riding I loved it way more than the average kid so I'm just gonna put down where I would be which would be way up here way more interested than probably what you would expect for the average kid and if we look at soccer you know lots of kids like soccer but lots of kids don't like soccer but you might be more likely to play soccer maybe you play at a gym or after school with your friends and that's maybe not so much the case with horseback riding so maybe more kids like soccer than they do horseback riding so maybe we'll say that the level of interest that we might expect for for soccer would be a little bit higher so let's put it up here and cars I mean some kids are interested in cars but some aren't maybe we'll put that a little bit lower than both soccer and horseback riding and then playing with blocks you know a lot of kids dig playing with blocks I'd say that's probably a pretty common interest of a lot of kids at least at a younger age so maybe we'll make that the highest one here so these are just some hypothetical levels of interest that we would maybe expect from kids so for kids with autism spectrum disorder one of these signs these behavioral signs that we see is what we call a restrictive behavior and what we mean by that is that their interests can be really restricted or limited compared to what we might expect from a child just in general a kid without autism spectrum disorder and when they do have an interest in something they can often be quite a bit more interested than what we might expect in general so maybe for someone with autism spectrum disorder they really don't show any in at all in any sports not soccer not horseback riding no sports and they aren't really keen on playing with blocks either but they're really really really into cars they love anything to do with cars so their interest level is way up here maybe if they were able to they would spend all day thinking and playing and talking about cars so we might say that their interests are kind of restricted to cars and there's pretty much no interest in any of these other hobbies not even a little bit like we might expect now try to decide whether kids interests are really restrictive that can be a little subjective a little hard to figure out I remember when I was a kid I really didn't care about anything other than horseback riding my level of interest for horses was way up here way more than what you would expect for a kid so it is kind of hard to draw the line on when a kid is being obsessive or restrictive with their interests but in general people with autism spectrum disorder have this sort of restrictive 'no swinter esteem it-- have an activity or two that they're extremely interested in and then show almost no interest in any other activities now while we're under this behavior category we can also put down repetitive behavior as another kind of sign that people with autism spectrum disorder can have and when we say repetitive what we mean are things like needing a lot of routines so maybe a child with autism spectrum disorder really needs to have the exact same meals every day or the same bedtime rituals or maybe they have a habit of repeating certain behaviors like lining up toys or repeating certain words these kinds of repetitive behaviors are another sign that we can see in kids with autism spectrum disorder so let's head over to our last category here responses to environmental stimuli now what do I mean by that well let's make another graph here we love graphs so let's make our x-axis here the stimulus strength and you'll see what I mean in a second and we'll make our y-axis the response is that the child has to the stimulus so maybe we'll make a low strength stimulus something like a dim light it doesn't really excite to many people a lot of people might not even notice it and then something a little bit stronger would be a noise maybe like a car honking and then we'll put down a high strength stimulus as something like being squeezed really lightly by another person so we would probably expect a kid to respond the least to this dim light our low strength stimulus and then respond a little bit more to this medium strength stimulus the car honking and then respond the most to this high strength stimulus of being squeezed really tight so we can kind of make this line here so we would expect that the higher the stimulus strength the greater the response right but it turns out that for a lot of kids with autism spectrum disorder they don't necessarily really follow this line some weak stimuli really really bother them so maybe their response would be kind of up here but then for some strong stimuli they don't really bother them at all so maybe their response would be kind of down here so it really does vary which stimuli evoke which responses but in general what we see with a lot of kids with autism spectrum disorder is that they don't really follow this expected line here so everything we've looked at here these aren't the only signs that someone might be on the autism spectrum but hopefully now you can see that autism spectrum disorder is primarily a social interaction and communication disorder