Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorders - What we know, what we don't and what we can do?
Autism is better defined by the term “autism spectrum disorder,” which describes a grouping of various developmental disabilities.
Symptoms of ASD usually begin before the age of 3 and continue throughout a person’s life.
In some infants, there are early signs of the disorder, such as
Not wanting to cuddle,
Lack of eye contact,
Abnormal responses to touching and affection
Inability to follow objects visually,
Not responding to his or her name being called,
Lack of facial expressions, such as smiling
Regression of skills - Some children with ASD develop normally until the age of 1 or 2, then stop learning new skills or lose the ones they already have learned.
Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders:
There are three main classifications of ASD and understanding the difference among them will help to better focus treatment.
This considered the classic form of autism. Patients usually have significant delays in language, social skills, and the ability to communicate. Some have unusual behaviors and interests, and have a measurable intellectual disability.
This is usually a milder form of autism. Patients still have delays in social abilities and communication skills, and have unusual behaviors and interests. Many individuals have a specific interest that encompasses much of their time and thought. People with Asperger’s may spend much of their time devoted to a hobby (e.g, trains, computers). They usually don’t have issues with language skills or intellectual development. In fact, many are intelligent, especially when it comes to their own special interests. Some experts liken patients with Asperger’s to little professors in their areas of interest; they can have near genius IQs.
Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified, or atypical autism:
These individuals meet only some of the criteria for classic autism or Asperger’s. They have fewer, milder symptoms and may experience delays only in the areas of social skills and communication.
Research studies have observed several imbalances in autism spectrum disorders. Some imbalances which have been observed are displayed below. Autism is a complex disorder and because imbalances which lead to autism are multi-factorial, an effective treatment strategy can work only if all these imbalance are appropriately and effectively addressed.