Is Inflexibility a Sign of Autism?
Inflexibility to change and reacting strongly to schedule adjustments can be a symptom of autism. Children with autism spectrum disorders are often restricted, inflexible, and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests. Some typical examples of inflexibility that could be warning signsfor autism include: The child follows a rigid routine, such as insisting on taking a specific route to school. If they have difficulty adapting to changes in schedule or environment, such as throwing a tantrum if the furniture is rearranged or bedtime is at a different time than usual. If they have an unusual attachments to toys or strange objects such as keys, light switches, or rubber bands or obsessively line things up or arranges them in a certain order. The child shows a preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest, often involving numbers or symbols, such as memorizing and reciting facts about maps, train schedules, or sports statistics. The child spends long periods of time arranging toys in specific ways, watching moving objects such as a ceiling fan, or focusing on one specific part of an object such as the wheels of a toy car. Repeats the same actions or movements over and over again, such as flapping hands, rocking, or twirling.