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Monday, April 26, 2010

Autism Blog Hop - Signs of Autism & Repetitive Behaviors

Thanks for joining the Ideas For Scrapbookers blog hop today.  If you've been hopping along, you just came from Pam's post over at Ideas For Scrapbookers where you learned what Autism Spectrum Disorder is.  If you've just joined the hop, you can get a list of all the participating Artists here.  I'm going to do double duty and share information on the signs of autism as well as some repetitive behaviors that you might see with autism.

Signs of Autism
Early intervention is key to helping persons with developmental impairments. For many children that are at risk for cognitive, social, or emotional delays or disorders, access to well designed intervention can improve their quality of life and their prospects for the future. Knowing what to look for, recognizing the signs and getting an evaluation as soon as possible are critical.

People with Autism Spectrum Disorders may have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASDs also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. ASDs begin during early childhood and last throughout a person’s life.

A child or adult with an ASD might:
  • not play “pretend” games
  • not point at objects to show interest
  • not look at objects when another person points at them
  • have a lack of appropriate eye gaze
  • avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
  • lack warm, joyful expressions
  • have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • not share interest or enjoyment with others
  • prefer not to be held or cuddled or might cuddle only when they want to
  • appear to be unaware when other people talk to them but respond to other sounds
  • lack response to their name
  • be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
  • repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language (echolalia)
  • have unusual prosody in verbal communication (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm, unusual voice quality)
  • have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
  • repeat actions over and over again
  • have trouble adapting when a routine changes
  • have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
  • lose skills they once had (for instance, stop saying words they had been using, regress in toileting skills)
To learn more, please visit First Signs

Repetitive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Although people with autism usually appear physically normal, odd repetitive motions may set them apart from other children and adults. These behaviors might be extreme and highly apparent or more subtle. Some children and older individuals repeatedly flap their arms or walk on their toes. Some suddenly freeze in a position. Some will hum, some like to rock in a chair, on a swing or on their feet.  These behaviors are referred to as 'self-stimming" behaviors.

As children, individuals with autism might spend hours lining up their cars and trains in a certain way, rather than using them for pretend play. If someone moves one of the toys, the children may be tremendously upset. Many children with autism need, and demand, absolute consistency in their environment. A slight change in routines, such as mealtimes, dressing, taking a bath, and going to school at a certain time or by the same route, can be extremely stressful.

Repetitive behavior sometimes takes the form of a persistent, intense preoccupation. These strong interests may be unusual because of their content (e.g. being interested in fans or toilets) or because of the intensity of the interest (e.g. knowing much more detailed information about Thomas the Tank Engine than peers). For example, a child with autism might be obsessed with learning all about vacuum cleaners, train schedules, or lighthouses. Often older children with autism have a great interest in numbers/letters, symbols, dates or science topics

To learn more, please visit Asperger Syndrome.org

And now some craftiness!
I made the layout shown at the top of this post for Autism Awareness Month using the color scheme of the autism ribbon.  As a gift to you for playing along on the hop, I've created a template that you can download to use either as a sketch, or you can download the layered template to use for creating a digital scrapbook page.

Click here for the sketch

Click here for the layered template.

I've got one more gift for you... a RAK!!!  I'm offering a RAK of crafty supplies to one lucky random winner that leaves a comment on this post.  Please make sure that I have a link to your blog or email so I can contact you.  I'm only able to ship to US addresses at this time (sorry!)  You have until 6am (EST) Friday April 30th to leave your comment.  I'll be announcing the winner later that day.   Good luck!

Next stop on the blog hop is Heather who will be sharing information about the Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders.


  1. Great Job Cathy! Lots of useful information! And I love your layout!

  2. Love this layout! Thanks for sharing the information also.

  3. What a neat idea for a blog hop. I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and see what everyone has going on. I'll also be cluing in some of my friends who also have children on the spectrum.

    Thank you for doing so much to help raise awareness.

  4. Hi Cathy my son was diagnosed with Asperger's about two years ago and he just turned eight but thankfully he was mostly verbal if only a bit delayed. He had a few of the signs we missed such as lining up his toys rather than playing with them. Also he loves the fun of just collecting things in a series. I am a big Autism Advocate and have my own local group on Facebook. Thank you for helping raise awareness-our kids need some understanding from society! take care, Cheryl http://dontworrybescrappi.blogspot.com

  5. i LOVE that layout. All of comes together so nicely. :)

    thanks again for setting everything up. you are awesome!


  6. Your information is very helpful. I am glad you were able to recognize your child's symptoms early. I love the layout with the puzzle pieces. Puzzle pieces in the Autism Awareness logo really expresses the problem succintly. Marlene

  7. Thank you so much for sharing the information with us and your beautiful layout! I really really love how you represented "normal" as a load on a washing machine! It is so true that in reality no one is normal, and to truly know a person you must go more than skin deep. Thank you for the template as well, I just started playing with digital so I am on the fence of which I want to do..maybe both!

  8. I am reading these blogs with tears in my eyes. I ahve always said the crafting community was filled with some of the biggest hearts in the world and this hop proves my point! God Bless all of you for helping to put the word out. From a mom of a 17 year old with Autism :)

  9. Thanks for sharing the information- early intervention is so important! Thanks for the sketch, too.

  10. great layout!! and great info!! and thanks the sketch!! :)

  11. thanks for sharing the information on the signs of autism!!

  12. What a fantastic layout! Great info too. I wish every parent could hear more about Autism!

  13. Great sketch, thanks for sharing it, and more importantly for educating us a little.

  14. I love your layout! Thank you for sharing all of this information!

  15. I'm really enjoying this blog hop! Thanks for the great information.

  16. Thank you for the useful information. I'm thinking that when I work on my master's in early childhood education I want to make sure to take some classes on ASD.

  17. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the DigiFree category today [26 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  18. Thank you for all of the great information (not to mention the giveaway)!

    I've been following another blogger's journey through the autism spectrum with her daughter and it has been a truely enlightening read for me. Thank you guys for expanding that with this blog-hop :)

  19. I am loving this blog hop. I am the mother of a son with severe autism. Parents need to be aware and watch for the signs. This is great ;o)


  20. Thanks for the information on autism. We received a diagnosis of Asperger's on our son just two years ago - when he was 18 and began displaying unusual, dangerous behavior. Until that time, his differences had always been chalked up as a learning disorder. Currently, we are frantically trying to find answers for a wonderful young man who desperately "just wants to be normal" - his own words. It is a heart break.

  21. Thank you for this information. Your sketch and layout are awesome. The puzzle icon is so perfect for representing autism. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  22. I'm just dropping by to check out all of the blog hop posts. I'm so proud to be a part of this DT! You girls totally rock for sharing your time, and your stories with everyone.

  23. Such wonderful information to share. So many people have no idea what it is for a child or adult to be "on the Spectrum."
    I really love your layout!

  24. What a great resource of things to look for. Very helpful!

  25. thanks so much for your information you have post on autism. I also love this layout!

  26. Hopping through taking in all the information. What a great thing you all are doing. http://rebelbblog.blogspot.com/

  27. Great page. Love the use of the flowers.

  28. Thanks for sharing this information! I love your page!

  29. Thank you for this blogtrain and for your lovely layout/template.

  30. Great information and layout -- I learned a lot from reading this, so thank you!

  31. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 11 post on May. 02, 2010. Thanks again.


Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. I do read them all and appreciate each and every one!

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