Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) describes a broad array of developmental disorders characterized by challenges with communication, repetitive behavioral patterns, social skills and non-verbal communication. As autism is normally a spectrum disorder, every individual with autism has a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Typical symptoms of autism include: limited or impaired communication in relation to the needs of the person; restricted or stereotyped interests or activities; intense or stereotyped distress over seemingly irrelevant matters; and self-injurious tendencies (often wanting to be better than other people). Although these symptoms may vary from one individual to another, they are common among people with autism.
It’s important to realize that autism doesn’t always result in classic symptoms like these. Sometimes the disorder results in subtle signs or invasiveness. In addition, some of the early signs of autism may not be recognizable as autism at an earlier age because the disorder is so young. For example, some individuals with autism might have great difficulty picking up the concepts of spoken language at a very early age, while others with autism might not show great difficulty with spoken language but will often make bizarre noises when asked to say something.
Many of the symptoms of autism can be confused with normal everyday problems, so it’s important to understand the difference between the various types of autism. In addition, there are many misnomers for what causes autism. For example, some doctors believe that autism can be caused by things like low levels of serotonin in the brain or by mercury poisoning. However, these are not actually true connections to the disorder.
The symptoms of autism most likely will vary from one person to the next. Some people with autism might never have been diagnosed. If a parent or sibling has been diagnosed with autism, it is very important to make sure that you know all that there is to know about the autism spectrum condition (a). There are several types of autism, so it is important to know the difference between the types.
Basically, autism can be classified as two broad categories: specific and general. Specific autism relates to symptoms like the inability to communicate with others, the need to repeat phrases or words over, limited social skills and interests, repetitive movements, and restricted speech patterns. General autism has similar characteristics to specific autism, but the disorder has not been linked to any specific causes. This type can include Asperger’s syndrome, Down syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, and various combinations of these conditions. No one cause has yet been found for the autism disorder.
Another misnomer that doctors make is that autism is only mild. Although some people may live with the symptoms of autism and even blog about their experience, like on Autism friendships, most people with severe autism do not live a typical life. They are unable to function normally in most areas of their lives and often withdraw from society. A person who suffers from autism will usually exhibit the above symptoms on a daily basis.
Autism can have a profound effect on a child’s development. Children with autism often exhibit lower grades in school, and they are more likely to be involved in delinquent behavior. Because they lack the ability to speak or understand verbal communications, their level of non-verbal communication is also significantly lower than those without autism spectrum disorders. As such, children with autism often perform below expectations in school. They also have lower self-esteem and fewer social skills than other peers. A doctor should not mistake these children as simply shy or awkward; they can have significant difficulties with adjusting to the many demands placed on them by others.
Sometimes, the signs of autism may be subtle. For example, if a person experiences repetitive behaviors or motions that are rhythmic or regular, this is a good indicator that they may have Asperger’s syndrome. Those with Asperger’s syndrome typically experience above average intelligence and have above average grasp of the language. Because they have difficulty with non-verbal communication, autistic people may often perform exceedingly well in sports, but they have trouble relating to others and making friends.