Gerald Hasselbrink

St. Cloud, Minnesota



Autism Awareness


A Person With Autism May:
Maintaining A Distance Will:
By Observing You May Learn:

appear "spacey" or as if on drugs
fail to interact, respond, or establish eye contact with you or others
touch strangers in socially inappropriate ways
not understand even simple instructions or the presence of authority
have an extreme reaction to sound, touch, taste, or light
appear to be unexplainably angry or aggressive or in pain
cup hands over ears as if hearing is painful
act unusually nervous, passive, or hyper
spin or wiggle an object repeatedly or sift dirt, dust, etc
be preoccupied with arranging or looking at objects
shake his or her fingers, hands, arms, or head repeatedly
exhibit inappropriate screaming, laughing, giggling, or other sounds
injure himself or herself
run or climb into dangerous situations
have little or no appreciation of danger
hear or see something only after a delay of several seconds or more
be disoriented in space and time
"perseverate"--that is, repeat a simple task or movement over and over
seem to ignore you or seem to be deaf
repeat a sound or words over and over ("echolalia")
react strongly and irrationally if a pattern is interrupted
have no speech, or not be understandable
confuse "me" and "you" or other pronouns
be carrying a communication device
seem to have no or little muscle tone
walk on tiptoes
seem to have unusual skills in math, art, music, or other areas
speak more loudly than necessary
make inappropriate comments or ask personal questions of strangers
be dressed inappropriately
rock or pant, or exhibit other unusual behaviors

permit the person to complete a pattern of behavior
give the person an opportunity to respond to your presence
permit a calm, quiet atmosphere to develop
prevent possible overstimulation or confusion
reduce reaction to light reflection from your buckles or other metal items
prevent possible overstimulation and reactions from others in the area
whether he or she is engaged in an activity
important information about the person's behavior pattern
whether he or she is injured
if he or she is holding any objects
if he or she is trying to leave the area or is lost
if he or she is repeating a motion or activity ("perseverating")
if he or she is reacting to something or someone in the environment
if he or she has language and/or can respond to sounds
if a nearby person is with him or her
if he or she is wearing a medic alert bracelet or shoe lace tag