The Autism Spectrum Explained

Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder

An individual suffering from autism spectrum disorder possesses a set of conditions that limit their interactions in the social circles, behavioral issues, and problems related to the way the individuals communicate verbally or non-verbally.

Autism separates the individuals from the rest by characterizing a variety of differences and along with incredible characteristics specific to them.

Autistic people are specially-abled individuals who could perform specific activities in ways far better than regular; they might take longer to produce the similar outcomes on certain activities.

The much unique strength that autistic people display may include enhanced concentration skills, an eye for detail, and interests in specific activities to an extent where they excel at it among others.

Introduction of the word ‘spectrum’ directly relates to this wide range of characteristics of individuals who suffer from autism and sets them apart from other individuals and makes them look at the world in a different light altogether.

Apart from the challenges that autism spectrum disorder offers, the most important ones include dealing with the treatment that they receive from the outside world and staying stress-free.

It has been known that the symptoms for autism begin to appear at a very young age, usually before 3 years of age and if parents are observant enough to notice them and take consultation, the overall outcomes can be altered for good.

However, it can also be diagnosed later in some of the cases.

You must also understand that there are various types of autism spectrum disorders and that they are all having different effects on the individuals suffering from autism.

And it is practically impossible to find two individuals that share the same characteristics.

Given that curing autism is still a big challenge, you can still help the individuals by exposing them to support groups and therapy.

Reasons that Cause Autism Spectrum Disorder

Till this day, the exact reasons are still not known but there have been studies which claim that autism in kids is caused because of multiple factors such as the genes and the surroundings that affect the development of the brain of the children.

However, researchers are working towards getting to the root cause of autism so that they can find ways for prevention from it or cure it in the later years.

It was believed for many years that autism was caused by a special vaccine called MMR but after years of research, it was found that autism is not caused by any vaccines.

Major Challenges faced by Autistic People

The individuals who are suffering from autism spectrum disorder tend to show some or all of the below-mentioned characteristics:

  • Insomnia and difficulties in sleep cycles
  • Inability to interact or socialize with people and make new friends
  • Stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Lack of interest in people or activities
  • Atypical expressions and body postures
  • Lack of communication skills
  • Problems related to language comprehension
  • Unusual body movements and obsessive in behavior
  • Repetitiveness in conversations and behavior
  • A strong dislike for change in the schedule

The people suffering from autism cannot be differentiated physically and it’s only these symptoms that could help you identify if someone is suffering from autism spectrum disorder.

Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders

As Prof Stephen Shore aptly stated- “If you have met one person on the autism spectrum, you’ve met one person on the spectrum.”

There are a large number of autism spectrum disorders most common of which are:

  • Asperger Syndrome
  • PDD-NOS
  • Autism
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

This is the most recent classification that is used to describe people suffering from autism spectrum disorder.

1. Asperger Syndrome

People suffering from Asperger Syndrome are known to be one of the most intelligent individuals who possess unique strengths and can perform better than their ormal’ counterparts.

These people are passionate and self-driven towards any specific area of interest and constantly work towards excelling at it.

However, these people lack social and communication skills and tend to be really uncomfortable when they have to interact with others.

2. PDD-NOS

PDD-NOS or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Specified Otherwise is not a mild form of autism spectrum disorder such as Asperger Syndrome and displays some or all of the challenges mentioned and lack social and communication skills to a much lower extent.

3. Autism

Autism includes most of the systems of the autism spectrum disorder and the people are known to display extreme characteristics before they reach the age of three.

4. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

One of the rare and most critical parts of the spectrum, Childhood Disintegrative Syndrome affects the people after they have been born normal.

The syndrome is known to affect the children and make them lose all their skill as soon as they reach the second year of their life.

This syndrome might also cause seizures and epilepsy among the children.

This means you can find various people who are equally autistic with having strong contrasts in their mental abilities and behavioral patterns.

You can place almost everyone suffering from autism spectrum disorder on the spectrum with the severity of the behavior patterns deciding their positions on it.

The people at the two extreme ends are classified on the basis of their mental abilities.

It is also found that there is a whole new spectrum within the mentioned spectrum that shows variations in the generic ideas.

Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder

Once the type of the autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed, you can move towards the next step of treating it.

It must be understood that there has been no effective cure found for this disorder yet but you can always get support and therapy in order to make their situations better.

If you are worried about your child’s condition and want to determine whether he/she is suffering from autism spectrum syndrome, it is recommended that you see experienced professionals because the diagnosis of autism is an intricate procedure.

You can go for a particular treatment after your kid has been diagnosed with the type of autism spectrum disorder.

These tests include an assessment to evaluate your child’s cognitive skills, assessment of communication skills to identify any specific disorder, and assessment of your child’s problem-solving skills along with the evaluation of his skills to interact in social groups among others.