Autism is a neurological condition that starts manifesting from childhood and will most likely be carried by the patients throughout their lives. The initial response of physicians and parents is to expose the kid to normalcy so that they’ll ideally know how to cope with the world in general. Many of them succeed too and can hold regular jobs, which is honestly admirable.
Despite that, the belief that all autistic folks have the same symptoms stays in some people’s minds too. It is far from being accurate – in fact, there’s an entire spectrum of disorders that a patient can get diagnosed with. To know them better, see the different types of autism below.
A clear definition is seen in an article written by Ted Hutman, a licensed clinical psychologist: “Autism is not a single disorder, but a spectrum of closely related disorders with a shared core of symptoms. Every individual on the autism spectrum has problems to some degree with social interaction, empathy, communication, and flexible behavior. But the level of disability and the combination of symptoms varies tremendously from person to person.”
Autistic disorder is a low-functioning type of autism that parents may detect at least a few months after the baby was born. For instance, while an average child can communicate well with people through their actions, a son or daughter who has this condition cannot. When they hit the one-year mark, the former tries to walk or talk at various pitches, but the latter remains focused on one part of a toy.
The key points that may clue you in that the kid has the autistic disorder are overwhelmed senses, repetitive manners, and lack of social interest. He or she likes to be alone too and may not respond even if someone asks them a direct question when they’re older.
- Inability to recognize names or feel empathy
- Poor intellectual skills
- Does not do well with instant changes
- Narrow concentration
- Panics over sensory augmenters
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
Although rare, childhood disintegrative disorder belongs to the autism umbrella. The most curious thing about the illness is that it is comparable to dementia. The kid grows into a toddler, and he or she eats, plays, and learns like any child their age. Then, everything changes once they turn around two to four years old.
The exact cause still baffles scientists, yet the symptoms are as clear as day. The patient degenerates until they fail to recall how to play with other kids, speak, walk, hold a spoon, etc. Any potty training they may have received before the disorder can become forgotten too.
However, it should be noted that Psychologist Cheryl Hendry stressed in an article that “childhood disintegrative disorder should not be considered distinct from autistic disorder, as not enough information exists to justify it as a separate diagnostic category.”
- Cannot brush their teeth
- Constant toilet situations
- Incapability to express themselves
Asperger’s is the opposite of autistic disorder, in the sense that it is high-functioning autism. Most of the world distinguishes it as one of the many forms of autism spectrum disorders, except for the United States since 2013.
As a considerably mild condition, specialists can only officially diagnose it in older children. Some of these kids even turn into teenagers or adults before a conclusion can be drawn because the symptoms vary a lot. They can include sensory difficulties, repetitive actions, and inability to master social skills, among others.
For Sarah Swenson, LMHC, “A person with Asperger’s syndrome experiences the world in a very different way. With a tendency to take conversations and events literally, the emotional subtext often is unseen. This can lead to behavior that appears inappropriate at best, heartless or cruel at worst.
- Unwillingness to co-inhabit a space with same-aged people
- Failure to discern honest remarks from puns or mockery
- Average to high intelligence
Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
All the autism patients who only show a few symptoms of a particular disorder but not everything falls into the PDD-NOS category. Similar to the Asperger’s syndrome, the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t identify it as a separate type of illness within the spectrum either.
- Mild autistic disorder signs
- Suspended growth, despite somewhat great intellectual skills