The most challenging aspect of diagnosing ASD is that there is no medical screening, such as a pressure test, to check for the disorder. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental and neurological disarray that influences how people communicate, interact with others, behave and learn (NIH 2020, pg.1). According to research, individuals with ASD have difficulties with interaction and communication with others. They also have repetitive behaviors and restricted interests when communicating and interacting with others. In other cases, ASD patients have symptoms that impact their functioning abilities in work, school, and other areas of life. ASD is a lifelong disorder, but services and treatment can improve the individual’s daily functioning and symptoms. This paper aims to investigate the communication challenges when caring for sufferers with ASD.
One of the communication challenges when caring for sufferers with ASD is that the patients have difficulties with nonverbal communication like facial expressions, hand gestures, and eye contact (Lesko 2020, pg.2). When the patients do not know how to talk and write, the only way left to communicate with them is by using the nonverbal modes of communication. Having poor or difficulties with nonverbal communication give their carers a hard time figuring out what extract action is needed in certain situations. For instance, an ASD patient may have a constant facial expression in all the situations they are going through. Their facial expression could always show that they are happy even if they are going through an acute situation that may need to be acted upon immediately. As a result, the right action in acute situations may often take a long time. Also, due to this unreal facial expression, the carer may take the wrong actions, worsening the situation.
Rigid or repetitive language is another communication challenge when caring for patients with ASD(NIH 2020, pg.2) . In some situations, ASD patients with speaking ability say things that do not relate to the conversation they are having with others or which do not have meaning. The patient may repeatedly say words they heard instead of answering the question they were asked. They can also repeat the same question they were asked. For example, a patient may say, ” Do you want to take a drink” whenever someone asks them whether they need to take a drink. This leads to difficulties in communication when taking care of these patients.
Another communication challenge when caring for a patient with ASD is inconsistent language growth. Most individuals with ASD develop the same language and speech skills (NIH 2020, pg.2). The developed skills are not to a level of ability, and the individual’s progress is usually inconsistent. For example, a patient can quickly develop a great vocabulary in a particular field of interest but not have any vocabulary in another field. In other cases, some patients may be able to read words but not respond to what they have read. They can respond to the speech of others but not say their names. Due to this inconsistency, their carers find it challenging while taking care of them.
In conclusion, it evidenced that dealing with ASD disorder is very challenging. People caring for patients with ASD disorders find it very difficult to communicate with their patients due to severe instances. One of the communication challenges they face when caring for these patients is the patients having difficulties in nonverbal communication, like facial expression and eye conduct. Another challenge they face is the rigidness and repetitiveness of some patients’ language. Incontinence in language growth is another challenge the carers face during communication with these patients.
NIH (2020) Autism spectrum disorder: Communication problems in children, National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/autism-spectrum-disorder-communication-problems-children
Lesko, A. (2020) Communicating with patients with autism, IBCCES. https://ibcces.org/blog/2016/10/10/communicating-autistic-patients/#:~:text=Children%20with%20ASD%20may%20have,facial%20expressions%2C%20and%20hand%20gestures.