Autism spectrum disorder is a condition associated with brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, creating problems in social interaction and communication. The autism spectrum disorder also involves confined and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder indicates a wide range of symptoms and severity. Autism spectrum disorder includes conditions that were early considered separate autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and an unspecified form of pervasive developmental disorder. Some people still use the term “Asperger’s syndrome,” which is typically thought to be at the nominal end of autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorder starts in early childhood and ultimately makes problems functioning in society socially, in school, and at work, for example. While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, intensive, prompt treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children.
Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Some children show symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy, like reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name, or indifference to caregivers. Other children may generally grow for the first few months or years of life, but then suddenly become withdrawn or aggressive or lose language skills they have already acquired. Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder typically are seen by age two years.
Each child with autism spectrum disorder is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior and level of severity from low functioning to high functioning. Some children with autism spectrum disorder symptoms have difficulty in learning, and some have signs of lower than average intelligence. Other children with the disorder have normal to high knowledge they learn quickly, yet have trouble communicating and applying what they know in daily life and adjusting to social situations. Because of the unique mixture of symptoms in each child, severity can often be challenging to understand. It typically depends on the level of impairments and how they impact the ability to function. Below are some common signs shown by people who have autism spectrum disorder symptoms.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Causes
Autism spectrum disorder has no single known cause. Given the difficulty of the disorder and the fact that symptoms and severity differ, there are probably many causes of autism spectrum disorder. Both genetics and the environment may play a role in this disease.
2) Environmental factors
Complications of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Complications of autism spectrum disorder with social interactions, communication, and behavior can lead to:
1) Problems in school and with successful learning
2) Employment problems
3) Not able to live independently
4) Social isolation
5) Stress within the family
6) Victimization and being bullied
Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis
The child’s doctor will watch signs of developmental delays at daily checkups. If the child shows any symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, you will likely be referred to a specialist who treats children with an autism spectrum disorder, like a child psychiatrist or psychologist, pediatric neurologist, or developmental pediatrician, for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
Because autism spectrum disorder differs widely in symptoms and severity, making a diagnosis may be difficult. There is not a particular medical test for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Instead, a specialist may:
1) Observe the child and ask how the child’s social interactions, communication skills, and behavior have developed and changed over time
2) Give the child tests covering hearing, speech, language, developmental level, and social and behavioral issues
3) Present structured social and communication interactions to the child and score the performance
4) Use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
5) Include other specialists in determining a diagnosis
6) Recommend genetic testing to check whether the child has a genetic disorder like Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome
Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
There is no cure exists for autism spectrum disorder, and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. The goal of the treatment of autism spectrum disorder is to enhance your child’s ability to function by minimizing autism spectrum disorder symptoms and supporting development and learning. Early intervention during the preschool years can assist your child in learning critical social, communication, functional, and behavioral skills.
The range of home-based and school-based treatments and interventions for autism spectrum disorder can be overwhelming, and your child’s requirements may change over time. Your health care provider can suggest options and assist in identifying resources in your area. If the child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, discuss to experts about creating a treatment strategy and build a team of professionals to meet your child’s needs. Treatment of autism spectrum disorder may include:
1) Behavior and communication therapies
2) Educational therapies
3) Family therapies
4) Other therapies
Prevention of Autism Spectrum Disorder
There is no way to prevent autism spectrum disorder, but there are treatment choices. Early diagnosis and intervention are most helpful and can develop behavior, skills, and language development. However, mediation is beneficial at any age. Though children typically do not outgrow the prevention of autism spectrum disorder symptoms, they may learn to function well.