Most people are familiar with the term Autism. Often a particular individual is immediately thought of, and although this misconception is sometimes true, it is often nothing more than a prejudice. Not everyone who has autism falls into the category of standard autistic. So the big question is: “Do you know what it means and how you can recognize it in people?” In the United States, approximately 1 in 44 children get diagnosed with autism and about 2% of all American kids have some type of autism – officially called autism spectrum disorder. This makes ASD a common disorder. It is vital to know how you can recognize if someone is suffering from autism and what you should do if you have suspicions of someone with an undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that causes people to have issues with communication, social, verbal, and motor skills. This does not mean that you must have difficulty in all of these areas before autism can be diagnosed. Everyone is different, and so is ASD. Despite medics only diagnosing someone with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, there are different types. Every person with ASD is special, not 2 cases are the same.
This means that not everyone with the same type of autism has to have the same symptoms. For example, one person may only have issues with a deficit in communication and social skills, while another suffers from all symptoms. This often makes diagnosing autism difficult – especially in women/girls. Symptoms of ASD often appear in the early stage of childhood – before the age of 3 – and symptoms can vary from mild to severe. There are different types of autism and each type has its characteristics and symptoms. In addition, each type can be recognized differently.
4 disorders are categorized under autistic spectrum disorder, namely Autistic Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified. This used to include Rett Syndrome because the behavior of children with Rett Syndrome is very similar to children with ASD. However, medical research has shown that this syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation, so it is no longer considered ASD.
The Different Types of ASD & How to Recognize them
Professional healthcare providers only diagnose people with the term ASD. However, there used to be 3 different types of ASD all with their behaviors, and symptoms as well as other ways to recognize the disorder. We explain them to you one by one.
This type of ASD is known as ‘classic case of Autism.’ This means that you’re probably thinking of this type when you imagine of a person with autism. Autistic disorder is a more severe form. Someone diagnosed with this type may have verbal and non-verbal communication issues. This expresses itself in different ways. For example, not maintaining eye contact while speaking, (almost) no facial expressions, and/or having a delay in speech. People with autistic disorder love routine and repetition in their daily life. Also, they are highly sensitive to sight, sound, smell, touch, and/or taste. Taking away this daily routine & repetition can cause a negative reaction. They have a hard time empathizing with others’ emotions because they aren’t familiar with emotions. A child with autistic disorder may start laughing hard when you are crying with sadness or vice versa because he/she just doesn’t know how to respond.
This type of autism is a milder form of ASD and is best described as a form in which the person experiences difficulty in the social sphere and individual behaviors and interests. People with Asperger’s syndrome may be inappropriately or even rude in social situations. Others might think they’re selfish or unempathetic, but that is because someone with Asperger syndrome is (most) comfortable speaking about themselves or things they are passionate about. Nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions, gestures, and body language, can be challenging.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified
This is quite a mouthful. So it makes perfect sense that not everyone recognizes or remembers this. What you may recognize is the abbreviation of the disorder, which is PDD-NOS. People diagnosed with PDD-NOS are individuals that do not fit into the above-mentioned types. Individuals with this type of ASD meet all the requirements to be in the Autistic Disorder category, except for their behavioral symptoms. These are much milder.
Do you recognize yourself or a loved one with the abovementioned information? Make sure to get tested by your professional healthcare provider. Getting the right diagnosis is extremely important because that’s the only way to get proper help and guidance. Also, make sure you are adequately informed, so you know what to expect. We want to help you with your search to make life a little easier. Start here: