ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a type of developmental disability that’s caused by differences in the human brain. Some individuals suffering from ASD have a known difference, like genetics, but other causes are yet to be discovered. According to studies, there are several causes of autism spectrum disorder that act in tandem, thus affecting the common ways in which a person develops. There is still much to learn regarding the disability causes and how they affect the individual’s character.
Usually, nothing sets individuals with ASD from the rest. They may communicate, interact, learn and behave in different ways compared to other individuals and their abilities can vary substantially. Some people with ASD, for example, may have top of the line conversation skills, while others may be non-verbal. Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder need substantial help in their daily activities while others require little to no support.
Autism spectrum disorder usually kicks in before the age of 3 and can last throughout the individual’s life. In some cases, however, the symptoms may improve with time. Some kids show ASD symptoms within the first year of life and in others, they may not be noticeable until two years or later. Some kids with this disability may gain new skills and make developmental milestones until about 18 to 24 months, where they stop developing new skills or even lose the ones they initially developed.
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Nowadays, ASD diagnosis includes an array of conditions that were diagnosed separately in the past. These include pervasive developmental disorder, autistic disorder as well as Asperger syndrome. Today, these conditions are referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current ASD diagnosing criteria includes repetitive or restricted interests and behaviours, and issues with social communication or interaction. It’s crucial to note that some individuals without ASD might show these symptoms. However, for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, these traits make life even more challenging.
Here are a few examples of social interaction or communication relating to ASD:
-The individual avoids or doesn’t keep eye contact
-The individual doesn’t respond to their name by 9 months of age
-The individual doesn’t show facial expressions such as happy, sad, surprised or angry by the age of 9 months.
-The child does not pretend in play like pretending to feed a doll by 2 years of age.
-The person shows little to no interest in peers
-The child does not share interests with other individuals
-They use few to no gestures by one year in age
-They don’t play simple interactive games by 12 months of age
-They have a hard time comprehending other people’s feelings or sharing their feelings after 4 years of age and older.
-They do not play games with turns after hitting 5 or 6 years.
Repetitive or Restricted Interests or Behaviors
Individuals suffering from autistic spectrum disorders tend to have interests or behaviours that are unusual to the common person. Apart from issues with social interaction and communication, these behaviours and interests are what set autistic spectrum disorder from conditions defined by the former. A few examples of repetitive or restrictive behaviours and interests related to autism spectrum disorder include:
-Playing with the same toys the same way every time
-An extreme focus on object parts such as wheels
-Lining up toys and other items and getting upset when the order shifts
-Repeating phrases or words over and over.
ASD is a complex disorder that entails persistent challenges in speech and non-verbal communication, social interaction and repetitive or restricted behaviours. It can be hard for parents to cope with and that’s why it is important to learn as much as possible about it.