Autism Spectrum Disorder

autism spectrum disorderWhat is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

This question, is one of the most commonly asked by parents of my patients. The diagnosis of autism has come a long way for the past 10 years and it has presently become one of the much publicized child disorder. The vast knowledge that is readily available in the internet,worry the parents all the more, because they tend to self diagnose their kid’s condition base on what they have read on the net.

Autism is a Spectrum

What is a spectrum you ask me? It means that it has a wide scope of coverage. It means that there are several variations in its manifestations and it differs in each and every child. Let’s say your child is non verbal at the age of 3, it does not necessarily mean that he is more likely to have autism spectrum disorder. He could be suffering from hearing impairment or is probably just having a language developmental delay in which he will easily cope up with, if provided with proper family support.

Autism spectrum disorder is one topic that I would always be ready to talk about, because I personally have someone really close to my heart who was diagnosed with the autism spectrum. Every child on the autism spectrum are confronted with different challenges.The symptoms and manifestations as well as their special abilities are unique, so it is very important for parents to be familiar about the different autism spectrum disorder in order for them to understand their own child better. Getting a handle on the different kinds of autism spectrum disorders will help parents communicate with their child’s doctor, therapist and teachers to help them battle their condition.

3 Common Types of Autism Spectrum Disorder

The diagnosis of autism is very complicated. In fact, it would take 2-3 years average after the parents seek help, before a developmental specialist reaches a final diagnosis. This is mainly due to the concern of incorrectly diagnosing  the child because the 3 common types of autism spectrum disorders have overlapping features.

  1. Classic Autism – also known as the autism disorder. This is the most severe form of autism but studies have shown that only about 20% of the patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder fall under this category.
  2. Asperger’s Syndrome – also known as the “high functioning autism spectrum disorder”
  3. Atypical Autism or the Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not otherwise specified

Always keep in mind that having a child with some autism like presentation does not mean that he has the autism spectrum disorder. This doesn’t follow. The signs and symptoms of autism includes problems with social and language skills, they usually have restricted interests and may have preferential focus on some specific activity. There is a very wide variation in the severity and the combination of symptoms, that is why, as soon as you notice something different about your child, seek the help of your physician as soon as possible so that you will be referred to the appropriate specialist the soonest time.

I intend to write a series of posts which tackles the diagnosis and treatment of  the symptoms that affects a child with autism. I may not be a developmental specialist, but having one of my love ones diagnosed with the spectrum bent me to learn about all the aspects of the condition.

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    • Hi Sonya! This is one condition which I know a lot of parents are concern and worried about. I just wanna share what I know and help even a bit.

    • Hi Yonca! Thanks! I am surely going to be writing more about this particular topic. Our family has been hit by autism spectrum and I just want to share what I know to other parents whose kids are challenged by autism too.