Let us first understand what Autism spectrum disorder is all about.
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder. It is generally seen in the first two years of life. It affects the behavior and Communication of a child. It is possible to diagnose Autism spectrum disorder at any age. However symptoms of Autism spectrum disorder manifest during the first couple of years of life and hence this particular disorder is often called as a ‘developmental disorder’.
The Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders mentions that people suffering with Autism spectrum disorder have the following symptoms
By the way, the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders is an official publication that has been posted by the American psychiatric Association. It is used by professionals across the country as part of their diagnosis process of mental disorders including Autism spectrum disorder.
The symptoms of Autism spectrum disorder can range from being extremely mild to severe. People with mild symptoms almost function as normal people. Whereas people with severe symptoms have difficulty in carrying out their day to day lives. This kind of wide variation in the intensity and severity of symptoms is one of the reasons why the word spectrum is used and is made part of the Autism spectrum disorder condition name itself.
Not only the level of intensity of symptoms but also a wide variation in terms of the type of people who suffer from the Autism spectrum disorder is also the reason for using the term spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder is seen to take place in children of all ethical, racial and economic groups. As mentioned above symptoms can range from extremely mild to severe. When diagnosed with ASD, it should be noted that the symptoms will last for the rest of the person’s life. However treatments and therapies have proven to improve a person's ability to function normally and also improve symptoms. It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that all children should be screened for autism.
Let us now look at some of the signs and symptoms as shown by people diagnosed with ASD. Our focus in this write up is mainly on the social Communications aspect and the restrictive-repetitive behavior aspect only.
Social communication-interaction with others
the kind of symptoms so far listed above only seem to be more challenging for those suffering from ASD. However people suffering from ASD also exhibit characteristics which can be their strengths.
It is not known exactly what causes autistic spectrum disorder. Scientists believe that genetic problems coupled with influences from the environment seem to be causing autistic spectrum disorders. Some well believed risk factors include.
diagnosis in young children happens in two stages
stage 1 of diagnosis takes place during the well child check-ups. This is done by a pediatrician or equivalent Healthcare provider who works with young children.
Stage 2 of the evaluation deals with additional screening. Screening includes assessing the following elements.
unlike the stage one of the evaluation process, stage two of the evaluation is carried out by a team of Healthcare professionals who are experienced in diagnosing ASD. The composition of this team consists of.
when it comes to diagnosing ASD in adults the following elements are considered.
Treatment of ASD includes the following two groups
Doctors often prescribe medication taking into consideration some of the most common symptoms associated with ASD. This medication often seem to work best to reduce the following symptoms
As part of the behavioral psychological and educational therapy program, the following aspects are considered.
consciously learn communication skills and language skills
learn necessary life skills so that the person can live on his own
challenging behaviors are to be identified and necessary therapy is provided to reduce the behaviors
in a similar manner strong elements as exhibited by the person ought to be noticed and those strengths should be fostered.