Skip to comments.What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Posted on 03/29/2014 6:42:23 AM PDT by Star Traveler
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by:
Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts;
Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities;
Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (typically recognized in the first two years of life); and,
Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
The term spectrum refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment or disability that children with ASD can have. Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) no longer includes Aspergers syndrome; the characteristics of Aspergers syndrome are included within the broader category of ASD.
Information on ASD can also be found on the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
On this thread, you'll see both of those posting here, and it will be clear "who is who" - as ANYONE can clearly see it from their posts.
This article does provide a good overview and is a good "starter" for those who "had no idea". Believe me, your fellow Freepers are directly affected by this.
Aspergers is common. I’m not sure it should be classed with Autism.
Asperger’s is hereditary. It runs in my family.
It is both a blessing and a curse.
You might be interested ...
Interesting info and thank you for posting, Star Traveler. I guess I fit into category number 3... not directly affected but I have several friends with Asperger children. I have known one woman with a child with Autism... and their life would just break your heart.
Yes. One of my daughters is mildly autistic. An example of odd, repetitive behavior is her habit of photographing her food with a large SLR before she eats. When I ask her why she does this, she has no answer.
When she was a toddler, she used to run away from the beach, screaming hysterically. One day my wife carried her to the beach and put her on a blanket. No problem. But as soon as her feet hit the sand, she would cry and run away. She couldn’t handle the feeling of sand on her feet.
Most people wouldn’t notice her disorder at first, but people who have known her for a time notice.
People have told me that her emotional and social maturity will be delayed, and that corresponds with our experience.
Aspergers was removed as a stand-alone item and rolled into “the spectrum”. That just happened (this year, I believe).
In our case, I might have though our boy had Aspergers, since he is “high functioning” - but - the only problem is that he doesn’t speak and that one item doesn’t fit into Aspergers.
Yeah, I guess I left out that group ... :-) ...
People who for a wide variety of reasons are "different"
Something is changing, so what is it?
It is not the boys.
A small part of it may be over-diagnosing normal juvenile male behaviour, but I'm going to propose that the elephant in the room is diet.
Over the last half century, the following issues have crept into diet, and are rising (as are the trend lines for a distressing number of ailments, including ASD):
Are all of these to blame?
Probably not, but some of them are.
Dr. Perlmutter ("Grain Brain") reports excellent results in treating ADD simply by getting kids off grains and adding EPA/DHA supplements.
For anyone facing this, changing aisles at the supermarket may be the cheapest most effective thing you can do. And switching to a low-carb high-fat grain-free diet can benefit the whole family.
It certainly does run in families. My husband’s and mine. Youngest son was diagnosed with Aspergers in elementary school though he didn’t have all of the symptoms normally seen in these kids. He always looks people right in the eye and has a good sense of humor.
A lot of the things he used to do that caused the diagnosis he seems to have out-grown.
My grandson and 4 other people I know are ASD. All males. 2 high functioning, 2 low, and grandson ‘to be determined.’ Not clear to me how much of the increased incidence is just diagnostic and how much is real.
It keeps getting more common because there is a push to have everything slightly atypical labeled as a condition or disorder. Autism just because the catch all name for every kid that is weird, introverted, or awkward.
Very little has changed and the true issues are really not any more common then they were 50 or 500 years ago, it just gets named and bemoaned more today. Although there are at least a few of the kids that have just been spoiled rotten by having never met a firm hand that loved them enough to spank their backside in their life.
My wife works with autistic pre-schoolers. It can be very challenging for care-givers as well as families. I've seen the threads here where people seem dismissive of Autism, and that's always a little painful.
Working in an engineering environment, as I do, I am aware of many adults who are certainly "on the spectrum" and I would have described them as (at least somewhat) having Aspergers. Poor social skills, unusual focus, obsession with details that seem unimportant to anyone else, very little flexibility in how things are done. Properly managed, these traits can be pretty useful. And then there is Austism. A tougher situation all around. Not all bad, of course, but far less likely to be channeled into a normal career. People with Autism will always need care.
I would say that’s way too broad of a criterion ... :-) ...
I saw some unusual speculation, that what could roughly be called “focused rationality” is actually a flawed genetic mutation. That is, that the autism spectrum actually includes rational intellectualism. So the entire range would incorporate:
intelligence—high intelligence—genius level—Aspergers—and then autism.
Even when autism first came to light, it was noted that often, both parents of an autistic child were unusually intelligent, at least based on their education. (But education is not synonymous with intelligence.)
This suggests a common genetic pattern, that if one parent has a trait, it only comes out “halfway” in their children; but if both parents have the trait, it is fully expressed.
That's not necessarily the case. Look at Temple Grandin. She definitely needed help at the beginning of her life - but "look at her now"!
I probably over-stated. Some people can live on their own just fine and have successful careers. Their Autism does not hold them back all that much. But some families do have to worry about children who are likely to never live on their own or have regular careers. That kind of Autism is out there.
You didn’t leave the group out. I think group #3 is relatively small in percentage. A person has to be very involved and open minded. When one of my besties son was dealing with the initial elementary school, I was the “stand by” person on the emergency list. So, I was the person called to deal with an outburst etc... if his Mom was at a Doctor’s appt, etc. Therefore, I tried to educate myself as much as possible. “J” is now 19. He is doing extremely well at a Community College. He drives himself. Believe me... the road to get him to this point was HARD. Numerous medication trials, a special school in the county that dealt with Autism/and the spectrum, specialist visits, etc...
May I add that it was his Mom and her faith that got the family through. She heard her fair share of “slap him, punish him, send him away”. She dealt with “the stares” and the disapproving looks/words. In my book, she is darn near an earthly saint... never gave up on him and worked diligently to ensure that he would have a go at life.
I'm not a shrink and I didn't spend the night at a Holiday Inn express. However, from what I understand about the condition, the symptoms are too varied to be generated by the same condition.
Thank you, I’m reading now.