So, what is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Autism is a developmental condition that causes behavioral and social problems and negatively impacts communication skills. ASD refers to the different levels of autism, ranging from mild to severe. Statistics from the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) establish that for every 59 children born in the US, one is autistic. If your loved one is affected, it’s essential to seek proven autism treatment programs to provide support during childhood and the early teen years.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
The diagnosis of the disorder occurs at any age. Some children start showing the symptoms of autism a few months after birth, but others will display them after one or two years. There are also cases where the signs start manifesting when individuals reach adulthood.
Statistics reveal that an estimated 50% of parents discover abnormalities when their children reach one year. Moreover, over 80% of parents are more likely to detect autism when their children attain two years.
Autistic children continue to exhibit the symptoms as they grow. Early diagnosis and an early intervention program for autism can provide essential support as they grow.
Levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder
DSM-5 identifies three levels of autism spectrum disorder, including:
Level 1 Autism
Most people experiencing high functioning autism fall in this category. At this level, the person needs less support to manage the condition. However, such people still display the signs of autism, including having trouble starting and focusing on conversations in social gatherings due to a volatile concentration.
Autistic people at this level need support to make friends because they rarely start conversations. When they go to a new place, they’ll need someone who understands the condition to facilitate socialization. Their behaviors are inflexible, making it vital to have someone manage their plans in a new environment.
Level 2 Autism
It’s a more complicated form of autism, and patients need considerable support to manage this level than the first one.
Autistic people at this level display more observable limitations that hinder them from starting or following conversations or participating in social settings.
Even with support, it’s challenging for them to maintain long conversations. They often utilize short sentences and focus on a specific topic. Their poor verbal and non-verbal skills make them lonely and helpless in new environments where nobody understands them.
Such individuals avoid eye contact when having a conversation because they feel shy and uneasy. Their inability to adapt to changes causes distress in new environments.
Level 3 Autism
This is the most elaborate form of autism spectrum disorder. Typically, patients possess severe shortcomings in their verbal and non-verbal skills; they rarely respond to conversations unless it directly concerns them. As such, they tend to avoid most social interactions and keep their circle extremely small.
Level 3 autistic people have tendencies for repetitive behaviors, meaning they’ll resist situations that disrupt their focus and plans. Their interests are also narrow as they tie most of their conversations on particular topics.
Symptoms of Autism
When exploring what is autism spectrum disorder, it’s worth noting that the symptoms of the condition vary from physical, social, and behavioral.
The most common signs of ASD include:
- Difficulty in starting and maintaining conversations
- Rejecting most forms of physical contact
- Inability to cope with sudden changes
- Inappropriate responses to others
- Linguistic oddities
- Repetitive behaviors
- Diagnosis of Autism
Unlike other medical diagnoses, ASD doesn’t need blood tests, imaging, or scans. Instead, the mental health expert considers some elements during the examination, including the family’s medical history, behavioral problems, and communication skills.
Diagnosis involves responding to different lead questions touching on the autistic person’s social life.
Don’t let this mental condition ruin your loved one’s life; find the right autism treatment for teens or young adults. Contact your local physician for satisfactory answers to the question – what is autism spectrum disorder?