The Autism Spectrum: A Breakdown

           Autism, now known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is generally stereotyped to be disability related to a person’s intellect and their ability to interact with others. Along with many other misconceptions, these disabilities tend to be generalized amongst the whole population of people who suffer from it. In truth, symptoms to autism come in a range and its effects are different on different people, which is why its full name respects the range. While it may hurt and hinder some people extremely, symptoms caused by Autism do not affect the lives of others with it. true for the whole population of people with Autism.

       According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, almost 1 in 68 children tend to identify as autistic. Autism is diagnosed early in life, usually within two years after birth. Older people tend to raise concern of autism based on their unusual behavior towards others, at school, work or other areas in life. Doctors usually identify and connect behaviors like limited repetitive actions, having intense interest in certain a topic and entertaining oneself in that one thing, or lack of social interactions to ASD. There are also positive effects provided by Autism. Patients with ASD tend to have above average intelligence, excel in mathematics, science or the arts. They are also very detailed people with good memory and have strong visual and auditory learning capabilities. If any of the symptoms mentioned above are present in your child, it is crucial to go to your doctor for an official diagnoses and start thinking of ways to help.

       There are four different disorders that is found under the ASD range. Asperger’s syndrome, which lies on the milder side of the spectrum, tend to cause people to have a harder time socially although does not very much effect their intellect or language. The classic case of ASD is the Autistic Disorder, which is most commonly what people assume Autism is. People with this disorder have significant language delays, intellectual disabilities, communication challenges, social challenges and unusual behaviors, placing it on the more extreme side. Next,  the Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD-NOS), or “atypical autism” whose symptoms are in between the mild and u cases of Autism, putting majority of people diagnosed with Autism under this specific type. The last type of disorder under the ASD umbrella the childhood disintegrative disorder, which is the rarest of them all. This disorder develops in normal children between the ages of 2 and 4 who at some point start to rapidly lose their social, language and mental skills. In addition, with disintegrative disorder, these children also tend to obtain a seizure disorder.

       The struggle of understanding social cues, learning and communicating, it makes life hard for those with Autism. That is why, if you know someone struggling with AST, it is important to know how to help them. To make their lives easier, it is important to make sure the child is safe around their environment and having a safe zone at home—which is a spot at home where they can relax, feel secure and safe. By being consistent in their learning and interactions techniques at school, therapy and even at home, children with ASD have a better chance of learning and understanding. By sticking to a routine, schedule and interaction aids with consistency. Children with this disorder are prone to sensitivity and should be rewarded for good behavior as a positive reinforcement since unhappy feelings may cause them to react in a tantrum. While connecting can be difficult, communication is always key. That is why it’s important to understand where a diagnosed child lies on the Autism spectrum and how to go about taking care of them.

Walida Ali