Autism spectrum disorders are the diagnosis that is used to describe a broad range that includes neurodevelopmental issues.
They were classified as distinct based on differences and the severity of symptoms:
- Autistic disorder
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Pervasive developmental disorder that is not defined (PDD-NOS)
In 2013 2013, 2013 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) changed the classifications. All forms of autism are now all merged into one diagnose of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Modifications in terminology are a reflection of the latest diagnosis. However, the terminology used previously isn’t eliminated from conversation.
Parents, medical professionals, or autistic individuals themselves might use terms like Asperger’s disorder or PDD however, they’re not any longer a valid diagnosis in the U.S. classification system.
Let’s take a look at some of the terms you’ll hear related to autism. We’ll also look at how these terms relate to the ever-changing environment.
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What is the signs associated with autism?
The most obvious signs are those that involve interaction and communication with other people.
Autistic people might have their ways of thinking, learning, and solving problems. In terms of their intellectual abilities, autistic individuals can spectrum range from extremely disabled to talented.
Everyone is unique. Certain individuals will exhibit several signs, while others exhibit only some. Autism signs in the 3 or 4-year-old or 4-year-old might differ from those of teenagers as well as older adults. Certain autistic individuals may be capable of “masking” (or concealing) their signs.
The signs that autism is a general diagnosis can include:
- Not responding to their call
- Avoiding eye contact or displaying an awareness while others are talking
- not understanding sharing, or taking turns
- not paying attention to objects that are shown to them.
- not responding or pointing to the pointer
- experiencing difficulty in understanding facial expressions
- repetition of phrases or words
- making repeated motions (stimming)
- having difficulty expressing needs
- preferring playing by yourself or the inability to play “pretend” games
- experiencing difficulty adapting to changes or experiencing emotional meltdowns
- with the hypersensitivity to the sound, smell or taste or even touch
- in need of organizing the physical environment
- with delayed speech and language skills, or insufficient gesturing
- Losing previous skills that were previously acquired
For adults and older children You may also observe:
- having trouble reading body expressions, facial expressions as well as other social signals.
- Not getting sarcasm, taunting or figures of speech
- Speaking in monotone
- struggling to form relationships
Terms for different types of autism that aren’t being used currently
When autism was classified according to types, the distinctions between different kinds of autism might be blurred. The diagnosis was, and can be, a challenge and frequently stressful for families.
If you and your kid were assessed when the DSM-5 was updated, you could still be using the old definition (i.e. Asperger’s). This is fine. Your doctor can keep using these terms if they are helpful.
Asperger’s Syndrome was a mild spectrum. People with Asperger’s were often considered “high functioning,” with average-to-above-average intelligence and without speech delays. Certain autistic individuals object to the notions of “high performance” as well as “low functioning.”
These symptoms include:
- that are impaired in social interaction
- difficulties in reading body language, facial expressions and social signals
- not fully grasping irony, metaphor not understanding humor, irony, metaphor
- displaying unnatural body expression such as standing too close or speaking too loudly
- lacking eye contact
- Repeating the same behavior and routines
It is important to note that all of the symptoms listed above and below could be a part of ASD. The primary distinction between Asperger’s syndrome and autism is the lesser severity of symptoms, as well as the absence of language impairments with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Children who received the Asperger’s diagnosis may show more subtle differences, but they often have strong cognitive and language abilities.
To some, these could be perceived as an indication of disrespect. Therefore, making friends can be a challenge. Other signs include:
- poor handwriting
- limited range of interests or focus on one particular narrow range of interests or a single
- routine behavior
- the need for routine and strict rules
- can be easily annoyed when things don’t work out as expected
Pervasive developmental disorder, not defined (PDD-NOS)
A diagnosis for PDD-NOS was made in cases where a developmental disorder didn’t necessarily meet the criteria of autism, Asperger’s, Rett syndrome, or childhood disintegrative disorder.
PDD-NOS can also be referred to as “atypical autism.”
The signs of PDD-NOS include:
- Social behavior deficits
- uneven skill development
- Language and speech are not developed enough.
- difficult to accept change
- unusual reactions to taste hearing, sight and smell
- ritualistic or repetitive behaviors
- extremely restricted and specifically oriented interest
These symptoms may be related to ASD right now.
Autistic disorders were considered to be as being on the severe side of the spectrum. There’s a good chance that you’ll notice more symptoms at an early stage. They include:
- problems with social interaction
- Communication problems
- routine patterns of behavior
Other indications included:
- temper tantrums and ” meltdowns”
- Disorders with eating and sleeping
Children at the extreme range of development may prefer to play alone and were unable to interact with other children. A strong level of care was required for those children.
Childhood disintegrative disorder
A child who has this disorder mastered normal developmental milestones throughout the early years. Following that it was apparent that there was a rapid decrease in the acquired skills that included:
- Language and communication
- social skills, play and self-care
- motor skills as well as bladder and bowel control
Childhood disintegrative disorders were at the end of the spectrum.
Why is this term no longer being used by doctors
The spectrum demonstrates a broad spectrum of developmental delays and the severity of symptoms.
ASD is a term used to describe people with some mild autistic characteristics to those who require assistance with everyday activities. It encompasses every level of intelligence and also varying levels of social and communication capabilities.
The distinctions between one type and another can be subtle and hard to identify.
Another term you might have heard of for different kinds of autism
The terms “mild” and “high functioning” aren’t officially recognized diagnoses. Certain people may find these terms helpful but the majority of the community of autistics aren’t convinced that they’re effective or reliable, mostly due to the variety of abilities displayed by an autistic person.
You may have also heard of 3 ” levels” of autism which includes level 1, which is the smallest, and level 3 being the most severe.
High functioning autism
“High functioning Autism” defines “mild” autism also known as “level one” within the spectrum.
Asperger’s Syndrome is typically identified as high-functioning autism. There are signs and symptoms, however, the need for assistance is low.
Broad autism phenotype
The phenotype of autism spectrum is a word that is not often employed.
It’s often described as “autistic characteristics” without the diagnosis. The symptoms aren’t severe and aren’t diagnostically significant.
Researchers have discovered that this can be seen by relatives of individuals who are diagnosed with autism.
Severe autism can be referred to as “level 3” in the autism spectrum. Individuals with severe autism need assistance with their day-to-day activities.
Caregiving, or an extensive amount of care, could be required throughout the life span.
Is Rett syndrome autism?
Rett syndrome or Rett disorder has also been called “autism-dementia-ataxia-loss of purposeful hand use syndrome.”
However, it’s not on the spectrum of autism. It’s a neurological disorder that’s caused due to genetic mutations.
Classic Rett syndrome is typically a problem for girls with normal growth and development during the initial few months. After that, signs begin to show up, and maybe associated with:
- Language and communication
In the end, children affected by autism could develop frequent hand movements. Other signs may include:
- reduced growth rate or smaller head size
- Spitting and eating
- uncommon eye movements, staring, or blinking
- Cold extremities
- sleep disturbances
- breathing disorders
- The curvature of the spine
How do I receive an autism diagnosis
If you believe your child is showing signs of autism, talk to their pediatrician or primary medical doctor. They will recommend you to the appropriate specialist, for example:
You could also seek an assessment from the local public early child help center. It’s completely free and doesn’t require an appointment with a doctor or a diagnosis. The local school district can also offer assistance.
There’s no single medical test that can identify autism spectrum disorders. A physician can make the diagnosis through a thorough behavioral evaluation and developmental screening.
A few people require only a few support services. Others require more. In any case, early intervention has long-lasting positive outcomes.
The term autism spectrum disorder can encompass a range of conditions that were identified independently before the year 2013. The lines between these disorders were not always clear and could be confusing for anyone involved.
The spectrum encompasses a wide spectrum of symptoms and severity. The evolution of the spectrum as well as the evolution of terminology will help make it simpler to comprehend.
No matter what differences exist in the spectrum autistic individuals can develop abilities that be used for the rest of their lives.