Common Challenges

Sensory Issues:
Many people with autism experience sensory processing disorder. Poor eye contact, speech issues are the main concern. Noise, crowds, bright lights, strong tastes, smells, and being touched can feel unbearable to someone with Autism .This makes going to restaurants, movies, and shopping malls difficult. Even a simple hug or putting on socks can be challenging for someone with sensory processing problems.

Social Awkwardness
Common problems people with autism can have when interacting with other people include:

  • Understanding appropriate greetings
  • Knowing when to let someone else talk
  • Regulating the tone and volume of their voice

Executive Planning Problems
Most people with HFA have difficulties with executive functioning. This can make it hard to manage a household or cope with minor schedule changes at school or work.

Emotional dysregulation
People with autism can experience extreme emotions. They may seem to overreact to certain situations or under-react in others.When something unpredictable occurs, it can be hard for an autistic person to keep their emotions in check. The transition from one setting or activity to the next can be particularly challenging.

Difficulty with Verbal Communication
The use of language to communicate can be problematic. Someone with autism may have issues in understanding sarcasm, metaphors, or idioms.

Anxiety may manifest in an autistic person through:

  • social phobia
  • excessive worry/rumination
  • obsessive compulsive behaviour
  • hyper-vigilance, or seeming “shell shocked”
  • phobias
  • avoidance behaviours
  • Stimming and/or self-injurious behaviour
  • controlling behaviours – oppositional defiance

Dealing with change
Many people on the autism spectrum often prefer familiar environments with a predictable routine. Restricted and repetitive interests, sensory processing differences and heightened anxiety can make even small changes stressful. Planning ahead and preparing for changes in everyday routines and activities is important.

Other challenges are:

  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Intellectual disability
  • Sleep problems
  • Attention problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Difficulties with fine and gross motor skills