Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.Several different genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorder. For some children, autism spectrum disorder can be associated with a genetic disorder, such as Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome. For other children, genetic changes (mutations) may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder.
ASD affects different people in different ways. Some people can’t speak or learn. Their behavior may seem strange; they may avoid other people; they may pace and move their bodies in unusual ways, like flapping their hands. They may repeat lines from TV shows or movies. ASD has a tendency to run in families, but the inheritance pattern is usually unknown. People with gene changes associated with ASD generally inherit an increased risk of developing the condition, rather than the condition itself.
Altogether Autism uses the term autism except when talking about diagnosis, where the term Autism Spectrum Disorder is used. Other commonly used terms are Autism Spectrum, Autism Spectrum Condition, Asperger Syndrome, “Aspie,” High Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
Symptoms Of Autism
- Abnormal Body Posturing or Facial Expressions
- Abnormal Tone of Voice
- Avoidance of Eye Contact or Poor Eye Contact
- Behavioral Disturbances
- Deficits in Language Comprehension
- Delay in Learning to Speak
- Flat or Monotonous Speech
- Inappropriate Social Interaction
- Intense Focus on One Topic
- Lack of Empathy
- Lack of Understanding Social Cues
- Learning Disability or Difficulty
- Not Engaging in Play With Peers
- Preoccupation With Specific Topics
- Problems With Two-Way Conversation
- Repeating Words or Phrases
- Repetitive Movements
- Self-Abusive Behaviors
- Sleep Disturbances
- Social Withdrawal
- Unusual Reactions in Social Settings
- Using Odd Words or Phrases
Treatment for Autism
The most effective treatments available today are applied behavioral analysis (ABA), occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and pharmacological therapy.
Why Does Autism Come?
We know that there’s no one cause of autism. Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental, influences. These influences appear to increase the risk that a child will develop autism.
“One day we will look back on all the therapies the appointments, the lack of sleep the tears, the tantrums, the triumphs, the milestones, the ignorance, the awareness, the drama, the acceptance,the struggle, the headache, the strength,the love… and then we smile because all of these made the journey worth every second.”
Autism is not a disability it’s a different ability…
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