Autism spectrum disorder symptoms can differ from one patient with autism to another.
Autism spectrum disorder is a term well-thought by health care providers to describe autism. This disorder entails a spectrum of conditions, a set of diseases with similar characteristics. One patient may have mild manifestations, whereas others can have severe symptoms. But the conditions, whether mild or severe, have ASD or autism spectrum disorder. Currently, the ASD classifications involve atypical autism (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), classic autism or autistic disorder, and asperger syndrome.
In some instances, the health team utilizes a wide-range term to describe autism. Pervasive developmental disorder is used to identify autism as well. This classification involves the ASD mentioned earlier, plus Rett syndrome and CDD or childhood disintegrative disorder.
What is Autism in General?
Autism is a developmental condition that is manifested by impaired progress in social interaction, behavior, and communication. The range of this conditions differ from patients who have irregularities with their social interaction but normal level of intelligence, called asperger syndrome, to severely debilitated patients with autism. Autism can be classified as ASD or autistic spectrum disorder, a wide-range developmental disorder, which is used interchangeably with a category termed as PDD or pervasive developmental disorder. The ways wherein this condition is manifested can vary greatly.
Moreover, autism can be seen in connection with other conditions like mental retardation and particular medical disorders. The level of autism can vary from mild to serious cases. Mild cases only effect patients may emerge very close to regular characteristic of individuals. Individuals with severe cases of autism may have excessive intellectual incapacities and may be unable to function normally in various settings. During the past decades, this condition has been perplexed with childhood psychosis or childhood schizophrenic disorder. This issue may have been misapprehended as a personality disorder, schizotypal type, in several adults.
What are the Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
The primary manifestations of autism involve difficulties in the following fields:
- Communication – non-verbal or unspoken language (eye contact, smiling, and pointing) and verbal (spoken language)
- Social interaction – such as understanding how other people feel and think, starting conversations, and sharing of feelings
- Repetitive or routine behaviors or stereotyped behaviors – such as reiterating actions and words, persistently adhere to schedules or routines, and repetitive plays
These manifestations of this autism spectrum disorder can be typically seen in 18 months old child onwards. There are red flags for this disorder wherein several behaviors can be manifested in autism. Some characteristics may imply a postponement in one or more fields of development, whereas others can be more usual in autism spectrum disorder.
What is Asperger Syndrome?
Asperger syndrome is a developmental impairment condition wherein it affects the ability of a person to communicate and socialize efficiently with other people. Physicians classify asperger syndrome with other disorders that are termed as ASD or PDD. This syndrome, in general, is thought to be at a less serious part of this continuum. There is no known cure for asperger syndrome. If the patient has this disorder, the managements can only aid him to learn how to response more productively in social circumstances.
What are the Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome?
This type of syndrome includes the following incapacities:
- Engaging in long-winded discussions without perceiving if the listener is paying attention or trying to modify the topic
- Exhibiting atypical non-verbal communication, such as few facial expressions and awkward body positions and gestures
- Manifesting an extreme obsession with a particular, narrow objects or subjects, like weather, snakes, and sports statistics
- Showing not to apprehend, highlighted with insensitivity to the feelings of others
- Having a difficult time interpreting humor of other people
- Talking in a voice with a monotonous tone, unusually fast or rigid
- Clumsiness due to poor coordination
Unlike young ones with more serious forms of ASD, those with this syndrome typically do not have delays in developing language skillfulness. These imply that the child will use single terms at two years old and phrases at three years old. Patients with this syndrome can have difficulties in staring a normal discussion. Conversations might feel uncomfortable and lack the typical give-and-take social responses.
School age and toddlers with asperger syndrome cannot show concern in forming friendship with others. Youngsters with this syndrome frequently have delays in developing their motor abilities. These motor abilities include walking, playing, and running.
How is Austism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed?
The important characteristics of this disorder are the notably impaired and irregular development of social interaction and communication skills and the abnormally uncontrolled repertoire of interests, activities, and behaviors. These interruptions in the patient’s normal development should manifest themselves before reaching the age of three. The premature onset of the condition is a key element in its detection. It is essential that physicians screen for the probable presence of autism in all children, starting from infancy onwards.
Any individual with a regression or delay of language skills or an irregularity in social interaction commencing before the age of three can be assumed as autistic. The medical assessment starts with an in-depth evaluation of medical histories and physical assessment. This evaluation must be done by a physician who specializes in autism and other disorders which can imitate the manifestations of autism. The physical and history examination will lead the physician to a particular diagnostic test to assess for other conditions. Any patient who has language deficits must have his hearing acuity formally assessed. The development of normal language can only proceed if the individual has efficient hearing abilities in high frequencies at low volumes. Hence, seven if this patient turns his head to a shout or clap; he might still have adequate hearing incapacities to restrain language development.
There are two identified forms of hearing tests, the BAER or brainstem auditory evoked response and the behavioral audiometry. Behavioral audimetry is done by an experienced medical audiologist. The patient being assessed is placed in an area and his responses to several tones will be scrutinized. The BAER test entails the patient to be sedated and earphones are placed over his ears. Different frequencies and volume tones are played. The electrical reaction of the bran is observed during this evaluation. Neurologic examinations are also needed to determine the state of neurologic deficits the patient has. These neurologic exams involve brain imaging tests, such as CT scan and MRI.
What are the Treatments for ASD?
Autism spectrum disorder, such as asperger syndrome, has specific treatment options. The patient may undergo social and communication skills training to learn the accepted rules of communication and socialization. These patients may also learn how to verbalize their ideals in a more regular rhythm. Cognitive and behavioral therapies should be introduced to these patients. These therapies will help them be acquainted with troublesome situations.