What Are the Three Core Domains of Autism Testing?

Interpreting information about the signs of autism can feel like a job for a psychologist. Knowing the three core domains of the autism spectrum test, however, can help you make better sense of this information. Here’s some insight into these domains and how Integrity, Inc. can provide the right treatment programs for each of them.

The three domains of autism spectrum testing

1. Language deficits (communication)

This domain covers the inability to process words and their related meanings. Although many people  can create associations between sounds and ideas (such as the word “banana” and the fruit it represents), children with autism don’t independently make that connection.

Not creating a connection between words and concepts is often mistaken for hearing loss, because it almost seems like a child is unable to hear part of a word. Although they may hear it, they may not know how to properly process it.

How to identify language deficits

Words with dual meanings and colloquialisms are especially difficult for people with autism to understand. For example, if someone says that they’re “feeling blue,” a person with autism may translate the statement literally without associating the color blue with sadness.

This breakdown in communication is often the first step to identifying autism. Although this might seem like an intellectual impairment, it’s not a measure of intellect. Many who experience this aspect of autism are clear and eloquent on paper but not in conversation. This makes the inability to quickly form and process words, tones, and even pauses in speech excellent indicators of autism.

2. Social deficits (social)

Although it’s certainly possible for those with autism to have normal social skills and interactions, they’ll need additional steps to get it right. As with any skill, it requires practice and education. Many with autism want to be around others but aren’t sure how to properly engage with them or how to be comfortable in new, sometimes awkward situations.

How to identify social deficits

The misunderstanding of social cues can appear in many ways. For example, a person with autism might not understand the difference between blushing or flushing. They might see a red face, and assume a person is angry when they actually just finished an intense workout.

This, of course, doesn’t hinder a person on the autism spectrum from having full and meaningful relationships. They’ll likely need more preparation using concrete examples to successfully predict what’s coming. This can be practiced at home or with a professional at Integrity, Inc. who can assist with developing social skill-building activities.

3. Repetitive behaviors (physical)

This last domain of autism spectrum testing often presents in other domains as well. Repetitive behaviors, such as repeating a word or sound or rocking back and forth, can affect the social and communication aspects of their lives. However, these repetitive movements and sounds can help balance sensory input and emotion. This often allows someone with autism to organize their thoughts when they’re feeling overwhelmed by language or social stimuli. The repetitive sounds and behaviors may allow them to focus on their own thoughts, figure out how to proceed, or find a way to feel comfortable in a situation.

Understanding repetitive behaviors

An easy way to understand this is to imagine that you’re trying to follow a recipe. But imagine that as you’re following the recipe, a pet walks under your feet, someone blares music, and three different people talk to you about different things. You have to find ways to increase your focus to succeed. And for those with autism, repeating a word or sound or rocking back and forth helps focus when conditions become overwhelming.

For more information

Although the process of diagnosing someone with autism might not be quick or easy, it’s necessary for ensuring that they live a full, happy life. People on the autism spectrum can be successful with the right support, and we’re proud to be that support system for many people with autism and their families. Contact us today at (501) 406-0442 to find the right treatment program for autism in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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