Similarities between Autism and Brain Injury

Autism is one medical condition that is prevalent among children. According to the center for disease control, at least one in sixty-eight children is diagnosed with this life-long disease. While doctors have often blamed the cause of this disease to vaccines and certain genetically modified foods, they have failed to investigate some intricate similarities between autism and traumatic brain injury. These similarities may be the missing link to figure out the primary cause of autism finally.

Guess you are wondering what traumatic brain injury means and how it relates to autism? Here is why. Traumatic brain injury can occur from an accident, a sports injury, self-inflicted injury, bullying or when a child takes a direct knock to the head. If left untreated, traumatic brain injury can result in internal bleeding, bruising, contusions and severe nerve damage. Consequently, when traumatic brain injury is not adequately investigated and treated, it could lead to autism several years later.

To this end, autism and traumatic brain injury share very similar symptoms that you can hardly differentiate them. Below are symptoms both autism and brain injury have in common:

  • Seizures: Seizure is one of the common symptoms that children who have autism, or traumatic brain injury get to experience. While the incidence of seizure in Children with traumatic brain injury may not be so pronounced, the incidence rate of seizures in children with autism is quite high.
  • Reduced muscle strength: Reduced muscle strength or hypotonia is a glaring symptom noticeable in children who have autism. Likewise, children with traumatic brain injury also display signs of reduced muscle strength, poor coordination as well as unusual gait.
  • Poor executive functioning: This is another very common symptom shared between children suffering from Autism and TBI. They often find it tough to begin a task and successfully execute them.
  • Poor impulse control: This is perhaps the zenith of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This symptom is also a strong indicator of traumatic brain injury in children.
  • Poor memory: People who have autism and traumatic brain injury usually have a short memory that makes communication and social interaction very challenging and demanding. Teach them one thing this minute and they totally forget the next second.
  • Learning impairment: Learning impairment is the hallmark of Autism and Traumatic brain injury. Children who suffer this diseases find learning quite tasking as information has to be broken down into bits for them to understand what is being taught.
  • Difficulty understanding sarcasm: It’s perfectly okay to throw a few jokes and sarcasm at children. This makes learning a bit easier as their minds and brains are relaxed enough to concentrate on what they are being taught. However, the reverse is the case with children suffering from ASD or TBI. They find it difficult to understand jokes and sarcasm and take every word uttered literally.
  • Facial expression and body language confusion: Children suffering from TBI and ASD (Autism spectrum disorders) often find it tough to read or understand body languages and facial gestures. This makes socializing very daunting as their peers may find them a little weird.


Autism and brain injury have very close knits regarding symptoms that they could be easily confused for one another. When brain injury remains untreated, it could degenerate in autism several years later.

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