This post covers the different types of autism and how they’re diagnosed.
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life. ASD affects people in different ways. It can range from very mild to very severe and can be distinguished by differences in social interaction, communication, interests, and repetitive behaviors. The term “spectrum” in ASD refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity.
ASD includes several conditions that were previously considered separate:
-Childhood disintegrative Disorder
-PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified)
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Symptoms of ASD
There are four major symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD):
1. Deficits in social communication and social interaction
2. Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
3. Symptoms that interfere with functioning in daily life
4. Symptoms that start during early childhood
Causes of ASD
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is characterized by social-interaction difficulties, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. Although the exact cause of ASD is unknown, research suggests that both genetic and environmental factors play a role.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
ASD is diagnosed by observing behavior and development. ASD can sometimes be diagnosed as early as 18 months, but most commonly is diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 4.
There are three types of ASD:
-Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
Treatments for ASD
There is no known cure for ASD, but there are a number of behavioural and educational interventions that can improve symptoms and help children and adults with the condition to live fulfilling lives.
The most effective interventions are those that are tailored to the individual’s needs, and many people with ASD will require a combination of different therapies. Early intervention is also thought to be important, as it can lead to better outcomes in later life.
Treatments for ASD fall into three broad categories:
Living with ASD
There are different types of autism, each with its own set of symptoms. The most common type of autism is called autistic disorder, also known asclassic autism or Kanner autism. This is the type of autism that was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner in the 1940s. People with autistic disorder have significant difficulties in social interaction, communication and repetitive behaviors. They may also have other neurological or medical problems.
Supporting someone with ASD
There is no single type of autism, but symptoms and severity can vary greatly from person to person. Some people with ASD are nonverbal and need significant support in daily living, while others may have only mild symptoms and be highly independent.
Most people with ASD fall somewhere in between these extremes and need some level of support and understanding to lead fulfilling lives. No matter where they fall on the spectrum, people with ASD often benefit from specialized therapies and educational programs that teach social and communication skills.
The most common types of autism are:
Asperger’s Syndrome: This is considered a “high functioning” form of autism, and people with Asperger’s generally have no trouble with speech or cognitive development, but may have difficulty with social interaction.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS): This is a catch-all diagnosis for people who have some autistic features but don’t meet the criteria for a more specific diagnosis.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD): This is a rare condition that is characterized by normal development followed by a sudden regression in skills after age 2 or 3. Children with CDD generally lose all speech and social skills and may develop aggressive behavior.
Myths about ASD
There are many myths about ASD, and it can be difficult to know what is true and what is not. One myth is that ASD is a single disorder. In fact, ASD refers to a group of disorders that share some common features. Another myth is that people with ASD are always socially awkward. While social skills can be a challenge for people with ASD, many people with ASD are actually very good at socially interacting with others.
Further information about ASD
There are different types of autism, each with its own set of symptoms. The most common form of autism is autistic disorder, also known as classic autism. Other types of autism include Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder.
Autistic disorder is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual or repetitive behaviors. Individuals with autistic disorder may also have intellectual disability. Asperger’s syndrome is similar to autistic disorder, but individuals with Asperger’s syndrome do not have intellectual disability and often have above-average intelligence. Rett syndrome is a rare condition that affects mostly girls and is characterized by normal early development followed by a period of regression in social and communication skills. Childhood disintegrative disorder is a rare condition in which children develop normally until the age of 2 or 3 years, after which they experience a period of regression in social and communication skills.
Support for families affected by ASD
There are a range of support services available for families affected by ASD. Early diagnosis and intervention is essential for maximising the potential for each individual with ASD.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to their environment and interacts with other people. ASD is a ‘spectrum’ condition, which means that while all individuals with ASD share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with ASD will be able to live relatively independent lives but others will require lifelong support.
ASD occurs across all ethnic, cultural and social groups and affects males more frequently than females. The prevalence of ASD is estimated to be 1 in 100 people in Australia making it around four times more common in boys than girls.
Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.