What are the Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not a single disorder. It is a spectrum of closely linked disorders with typical symptoms. Every person with autism spectrum disorder struggles to some extent with social interaction, communication, empathy, and flexible behavior. But the severity of disability and the array of symptoms varies significantly from individual to individual. Two kids with the same diagnosis may show completely different behaviors and abilities.
Read on to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), its causes, signs and symptoms, and diagnosis.
HISTORY AND SCIENCE
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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental or neurological disorder that affects how a person identifies, discerns, and communicates with others, leading to social interaction and communication issues. The disorder also includes restricted and repetitive behavior patterns. The term spectrum in ASD refers to the broad array of signs and severity.
Autism was previously classified into different diagnoses, including:
Because all of these diagnoses had autism-like traits, they were omitted and renamed autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism for short.
ASD usually starts in early childhood and ultimately leads to social functioning problems. Often kids show symptoms of ASD within the first year. ASD can affect people of various genders, races, cultures, and economic backgrounds.
Although ASD is a lifelong condition, therapies, and treatments can help people with their symptoms and daily lives. All kids should be screened for autism, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics. Guardians should discuss ASD screening or evaluation with their child’s healthcare practitioner.
Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Every child with autism spectrum disorder may show a distinct pattern of behavior and severity ranging from low to high functioning. It might be difficult sometimes to determine the severity because each child shows a different combination of symptoms. Generally, it depends on the severity of abnormalities and how they affect the person’s ability to function.
The following are examples of the typical behavior pattern in people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Not all people with ASD will show the following signs and symptoms, but most will have several symptoms listed below.
Social Interaction / Communication Behaviors may include:
Restricted/ Repetitive Behavior may include:
People with ASD also have certain strengths, like
Causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
The cause of autism spectrum disorder is still unknown. There are numerous causes, given the complexity of ASD, and its symptoms and severity vary from person to person. Both environment and genetics play a role.
Genetics: Autism spectrum disorder appears to be caused by several distinct genes. For numerous kids, a genetic condition like Fragile X syndrome or Rett syndrome may be linked to autism spectrum disorder. Other children may be more susceptible to autism spectrum disorder due to genetic abnormalities (mutations). Other genes may influence how the brain develops or how brain cells interact. While some genetic changes appear to be inherited, others appear independently.
Environmental Factors: Currently, researchers are investigating whether factors such as medications, complications during pregnancy, viral infections, and air pollutants can cause autism spectrum disorder.
Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Getting an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis can be difficult. There is no autism test or blood test to diagnose the disorder. However, healthcare practitioners can perform specialized evaluations and screenings. The steps in diagnosing an autism spectrum disorder include developmental surveillance, developmental screening, and formal evaluation.
The healthcare professional for your child will consider your child’s behavior and developmental history. At your kid’s appointments, they’ll probably ask you to note your observations to share with them. As your kid develops, you can talk to their provider about their skills and abilities as part of this process.
The next step to examine your child’s growth more closely is screening. The provider may use a questionnaire for your child to test for autism. Comparing your child to other kids of the same age is done using questions and checklists in this section. This test does not offer a diagnosis but can show whether your kid is progressing as expected or whether a more thorough evaluation is required.
A formal evaluation looks more closely at your child’s growth. A professional expert will observe your child and perform a structured autism spectrum test, which might involve a child psychologist or developmental-behavioral pediatrician. Additionally, they’ll quiz you and ask you to complete forms. Your child’s talents and challenges will be revealed by the findings of a formal evaluation, which can also aid in establishing a formal diagnosis.
Risk Factors of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Various factors cause ASD. Many distinct factors have been identified that increase a child’s risk of having ASD, including biological, genetic, and environmental factors.
Although the particular cause of ASD is unknown, research suggests that the following factors may increase a child’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorder:
Although there is no way to prevent ASD, treatments are available. Proven by ABA professionals and studies, ABA therapy is the most effective treatment for autism. Early diagnosis and treatment are the best course of action, which can enhance a child’s behavior, abilities, and language growth. Treatment, however, is beneficial at any age. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy helps reduce the symptoms of ASD and teaches children to behave or perform successfully.
If you’re seeking professional and strategic therapy services from ABA experts, contact us today for expert ABA therapy services that will produce meaningful and lasting change.