Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Autistic spectrum disorders can include a wide range of learning and developmental disabilities. In general, social cognition, emotional learning, and social interaction are particularly challenging. Improvements in treatment methods, however, have enabled more individuals diagnosed with autism to develop successful careers.

It is important to note that the severity and complexity of learning and developmental difficulties associated with autism are unique to every student. Analysis and treatment must be highly personalized.


The following are the most common symptoms of autism spectrum disorders:

  • Challenges with social skills often render interaction and communication with peers and teachers more difficult
  • Difficulties in acknowledging, understanding, and accepting the needs and beliefs of others
  • Challenges understanding body language, sarcasm, nuance, metaphor, and other non-literal words and phrases
  • Problems expressing their feelings or heeding instructions
  • Difficulties performing tasks that require high-level abilities such as transitions, focus, time management, attention, emotional control, and organization. Resultantly, it will be difficult to learn effectively and carry out daily tasks such as cleaning rooms, bathing, wearing clothes, etc.
  • Inability to pull different sets of information together for deductive reasoning. This may affect learning and development
  • Obsession with particular subjects, and failure to learn others
  • Literacy, such as reading comprehension and writing tend to be more challenging vs. peers.
  • Executive functioning

Successfully working with students and adults diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders depends on collaboration among speech-language pathologists, psychologists, teachers, family members, and the individual to tailor a tutoring plan that best addresses needs specific to each student.