There is no one answer to this question as autism is a spectrum disorder that can present itself in a variety of ways. However, some common symptoms of autism include difficulty with social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and impaired communication skills. If you suspect that your child may have autism, it is important to seek out a professional diagnosis as early intervention can make a big difference in the child’s development.
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What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is no single cause for autism, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term used to describe a group of conditions that are characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.
What are the symptoms of Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. It is characterized by repetitive behaviors, difficulty with social interactions, and problems with communication.
There are three different levels of autism, each with its own set of symptoms.
· Level 1 – Mild Symptoms: A person with level 1 autism may have some difficulty with social interactions and repetitive behaviors, but is still able to communicate.
· Level 2 – Moderate Symptoms: A person with level 2 autism may have more severe difficulty with social interactions and repetitive behaviors, and may also have problems with communication.
· Level 3 – Severe Symptoms: A person with level 3 autism will have the most severe symptoms, including difficulty with social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and communication problems.
How is Autism diagnosed?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction, developmental language and communication skills, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities.
ASD occurs in all ethnic, racial and economic groups and is about four times more likely to occur in boys than girls. Symptoms can appear as early as 6 to 12 months of age. Some infants who develop ASD seem to be developing normally until they suddenly “regress” and lose language or social skills they had previously acquired.
ASD is diagnosed by clinical evaluation and observation. A comprehensive diagnostic evaluation generally includes:
-A detailed history from parents or other caregivers about the child’s development and behavior
-A physical exam
-Observation of the child’s behavior and how the child interacts with others
-Tests of cognitive abilities or intelligence quotient (IQ) and adaptive functioning which assesses basic daily living skills such as grooming, dressing and toileting
-Screenings for hearing problems or other medical conditions that may be associated with ASD
-Evaluation by a team of specialists who can include neurologists, neuropsychologists, speech pathologists, psychiatrists or psychologists, developmental pediatricians, and special educators
What causes Autism?
The cause of autism is unknown. However, there are several theories about what might cause it. Some scientists believe that autism is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Others believe that it is caused by a problem with the way the brain develops.
How can Autism be treated?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may act, speak, and think in ways that are different from most other people. The thinking and learning abilities of people with ASD can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.
ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and is almost five times more common among boys than girls. Most experts believe that ASD arises from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental, influences.
There is no single best treatment for all children with ASD. Effective treatments attend to many areas of development at the same time: social skills such as communication, behavior management such as tantrums or aggression, academic skills such as reading and writing, and coping skills for depression or anxiety that may develop during adolescence or adulthood. Some children will require medication to control symptoms such as ADHD or anxiety disorders that frequently accompany ASD. Children with ASD respond best to highly structured, specialized programs delivered by trained therapists who use positive reinforcement techniques.
What is the prognosis for someone with Autism?
There is no one answer to this question as every individual with autism experiences the condition differently. Some people with autism may be able to lead relatively independent lives while others may require significant care and support throughout their lives. The level of support and care required will also vary depending on the individual’s other needs and abilities.
How do people with Autism function in society?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive or severely limited activities and interests.
People with ASD often have difficulty understanding what other people are thinking or feeling. This can make it very hard for them to interact socially. People with ASD may also have repetitive behaviors or interests, such as lining up toys in a certain way or obsessively staring at objects.
ASD occurs in all ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups and is about four times more common in boys than girls. Although the cause of ASD is unknown, research suggests that it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is no single diagnostic test for ASD. Instead, doctors look at a child’s developmental history and observe behavior to make a diagnosis.
There is no cure for ASD, but early intervention can greatly improve the child’s development. Treatment typically includes behavioral therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Some children with ASD also take medication to help with symptoms such as anxiety, depression or hyperactivity.
How do people with Autism interact with others?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects how a person remembers, learns, speaks, and interprets sensory information. ASD begins in early childhood—usually around two years of age—and generally lasts throughout a person’s lifetime.
ASD is marked by deficits in three main areas: verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors or interests. Because these symptoms can vary greatly from individual to individual, ASD is considered a “spectrum” disorder. People with ASD can experience mild to severe symptoms.
What challenges do people with Autism face?
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have challenges with social skills, behavio, and/or repetitive behaviors. Some people with ASD also have problems with sensory processing — they might be oversensitive to sounds, lights, or touch, or undersensitive (for example, they might not feel pain or hot and cold temperatures as readily as other people do).
What is the future of Autism research?
Since autism was first diagnosed in the 1940s, research into the condition has yielded a great deal of information about its causes, symptoms, and treatment. However, there is still much to learn about autism, and scientists are continuing to explore new avenues of research.
One area of active investigation is the role of genetics in autism. Studies have shown that autism has a strong genetic basis, but the specific genes involved are not yet known. Researchers are working to identify these genes and understand how they contribute to the development of autism.
Another area of research is the neural basis of autism. Studies have found that people with autism have differences in the structure and function of their brains. This research is providing insight into how these differences may contribute to the symptoms of autism.
In addition, researchers are exploring possible environmental factors that may contribute to the development of autism. Although there is no definitive evidence that any particular environmental factor causes autism, investigations into this area are ongoing.
As research into autism continues, scientists are working to increase our understanding of this complex condition. With each new discovery, we move closer to developing more effective treatments and eventually finding a cure for Autism.
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.