Increased Stress For People With Autism
Other research has suggested that the general population tends to have better overall health than people with autism.
There are connections between autism spectrum disorder and other medical conditions, like gastrointestinal disorders and heart disease. One of the connections may be stress, resulting from discrimination and bullying because of the autism, distress from sensory overload, and alienation due to the socio-emotional and communication limitations caused by the autism.
Many people who have autism experience being in a chronic state of fight or flight when it comes to situations that would be considered normal for neurotypical individuals. Everything from having a job interview to attending a social engagement can be mentally debilitating, causing a number of physical and medical problems. Some adults struggle with stress and anxiety for the rest of their lives, even as they deal with the realities of living with autism.
Are Siblings At Greater Risk For Autism Spectrum Disorder
The truth is that genetics do play a role in autism. When one child is diagnosed with ASD, the next child to come along has about a 20% greater risk of developing autism than normal. When the first two children in a family have both been diagnosed with ASD, the third child has about a 32% greater risk of developing ASD.
Can A Person Develop Autism After Early Childhood
Steven Gans, MD, is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
There is no official diagnosis called “late-onset autism.” In fact, the DSM-5, which lists and describes all developmental and mental disorders states that the onset of symptoms is in the early developmental period.
Still, there are plenty of articles out there about children who appear to regress after developing normally throughout their earliest years. And there are plenty of people who seem to develop autistic symptoms as teens or even adults.
So does regressive or late-onset autism actually exist? What do we know about it so far?
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How Is Autism Treated
There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
Educational/behavioral interventions: Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD. In these interventions therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as applied behavioral analysis, which encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative ones. In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.
Studies On Early Death
The International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology and the Journal of Child Neurology looked at filicide-suicide involving children with disabilities.
High-profile stories have led to debates within various autistic communities about how the early deaths of autistic people, at the hands of their caregivers, muddies the waters on the already complicated nature of providing adequate health care for people on the spectrum. When autistic children or youths are killed by their caregivers, media coverage tends to spotlight the burden of caring for the patients, leading to more sympathy being shown to the perpetrator.
Psychology Today notes that people with autism spectrum disorder are 40 times more likely to die as the result of various injuries, including but not limited to drowning, asphyxiation, and suffocation. Children with autism between 5 and 7 years of age are at the greatest risk of dying by drowning. Given that wandering off or running away is a common occurrence with this demographic, a family with access to a body of water will have to invest in swimming lessons and water safety precautions.
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Signs And Symptoms In Children With Autism
Autism usually appears before a child is 3 years old. Some signs of autism may be evident as early as 10 to 12 months, and certainly by 18 months.
Varying widely, signs and symptoms in children with autism typically include:
- Impaired communication skills
- Difficulty making eye contact
- Repetitive behaviors and activities such as arm flapping, head banging, or twirling an object over and over
- Rigid behavior and difficulty with change and transitions
- Narrow range of interests and activities
People With Autism Tend To Die Younger
March 18, 2016 — People with autism pass away younger on average than those without the condition, according to recent research.
The Swedish study found that adults with autism and a learning disability are 40 times more likely to die early due to a neurological condition than those in the general population.
Adults with autism, but without an additional learning disability, were nine times more likely to die from suicide than those without autism.
The Swedish study, carried out by the Karolinska Institute, was based on the health records of 27,122 autistic adults diagnosed between 1987 and 2009, compared with more than 2 million people in the general population.
The researchers found that people with autism died 16 years earlier at an average age of 54. Adults with the condition and learning disabilities died more than 30 years earlier than people without autism at an average age of 39.5 years. Adults with autism and without a learning disability died on average 12 years earlier, at 58.
The condition affects how people communicate and relate to others, and it influences how they make sense of the world around them. Symptoms can range from mild to very severe.
More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder, research suggests. It affects 1 in 68 children, the CDC estimates.
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What Can I Expect In The Future For My Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder is hugely variable. People with ASD can have opposing symptoms. There are children with ASD who dont like to be squeezed and cannot even tolerate a handshakeothers crave the sensation so badly they bump their bodies into others. Sometimes individuals with ASD are so high functioning, people dont immediately realize there is something different about them. Other times, they are unable to speak or take care of their physical needs. The futures of individuals with ASD can vary as much as their symptoms. Just like neurotypical individuals, the future of people with ASD depends on their strengths, passions and skillsets.
MPG can also offer early intervention services to help your child.
Autism and Marriage:
Autism and Careers
The skills an individual with ASD has will impact what kind of career they can explore. Of course, this is true of the general population as well. There are several extremely successful individuals with ASD who have written about this.
Dr. Temple Grandin, perhaps the most famous individual with ASD today has some excellent advice for choosing a career when one has ASD based on individual thinking style:
Different Degrees Of Independence
First, its important to understand that a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder does not mean that your child or family member will not be able to date, make friends, attend college, get married, become a parent, or have a satisfying career. People with ASD do these things and more every day.
What an ASD diagnosis does mean is that your child or family member will progress differently than people without ASD.
At Therapeutic Pathways, our team of therapists and behavior technicians work to help those diagnosed with ASD reach their full potential. This means reaching different stages of independence over time.
Again, its not possible to provide a concrete answer of how long it will take your child or family member to develop certain independent living skills. Our staff meets each client where they are and works closely with them to develop skills to keep your child safe and happy.
Some of the autism independent living skills that we encourage and develop at Therapeutic Pathways include:
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What Are The Levels Of Asd
ASD is divided into three levels:
- Level 1. People at this level may have symptoms that dont interfere too much with their work, school, or relationships. This is what most people are referring to when they use the terms high-functioning autism or Aspergers syndrome.
- Level 2. People at this level require some outside support on a daily basis. Examples of outside support include speech therapy and social skills training.
- Level 3. People at this level require substantial outside support on a daily basis. In some cases, support may include full-time aides or intensive therapy.
What Is The Difference Between Autism And Autism Spectrum Disorder
The term autism was changed to autism spectrum disorder in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association. ASD is now an umbrella term that covers the following conditions:
- Autistic disorder.
- Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified .
- Asperger syndrome.
People with ASD have trouble with social interactions and with interpreting and using non-verbal and verbal communication in social contexts. Individuals with ASD may also have the following difficulties:
- Inflexible interests.
- Insistence on sameness in environment or routine.
- Repetitive motor and sensory behaviors, like flapping arms or rocking.
- Increased or decreased reactions to sensory stimuli.
How well someone with ASD can function in day-to-day life depends on the severity of their symptoms. Given that autism varies widely in severity and everyday impairment, the symptoms of some people arent always easily recognized.
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Clinical Development And Diagnoses
Leo Kannerearly infantile autism
The word autism first took its modern sense in 1938 when Hans Asperger of the Vienna University Hospital adopted Bleuler’s terminology autistic psychopaths in a lecture in German about child psychology. Asperger was investigating an ASD now known as Asperger syndrome, though for various reasons it was not widely recognized as a separate diagnosis until 1981.Leo Kanner of the Johns Hopkins Hospital first used autism in its modern sense in English when he introduced the label early infantile autism in a 1943 report of 11 children with striking behavioral similarities. Almost all the characteristics described in Kanner’s first paper on the subject, notably “autistic aloneness” and “insistence on sameness”, are still regarded as typical of the autistic spectrum of disorders. It is not known whether Kanner derived the term independently of Asperger.
Kanner’s reuse of autism led to decades of confused terminology like infantile schizophrenia, and child psychiatry’s focus on maternal deprivation led to misconceptions of autism as an infant’s response to “refrigerator mothers“. Starting in the late 1960s autism was established as a separate syndrome.
Autism & Medical Complexities
Scott Wright, a researcher at the University at Utah and editor of a book about autism spectrum disorder in middle age and later life, said that the medical complexities of patients with autism, coupled with their limitations in language and communication, can lead to physicians, hospitals, and the health care system at large not being capable of providing the best level of care. It might be possible that patients with severe forms of autism spectrum disorder dont even seek help for their ailments because they are overwhelmed by the awkwardness of talking with other people about themselves.
Wright suggests that a parent or a caregiver should find a specialist or a primary care physician who has training in working with autistic patients or otherwise demonstrates the necessary awareness and empathy for what the experience must be like for an autistic person. Beyond that, Wright recommended that there be more training for health care professionals so that autism can be recognized and appropriately responded to in a clinical setting.
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Associated Medical & Mental Health Conditions
- Autism can affect the whole body.
- Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder affects an estimated 30 to 61 percent of children with autism.
- More than half of children with autism have one or more chronic sleep problems.
- Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 11 to 40 percent of children and teens on the autism spectrum.
- Depression affects an estimated 7% of children and 26% of adults with autism.
- Children with autism are nearly eight times more likely to suffer from one or more chronic gastrointestinal disorders than are other children.
- As many as one-third of people with autism have epilepsy .
- Studies suggest that schizophrenia affects between 4 and 35 percent of adults with autism. By contrast, schizophrenia affects an estimated 1.1 percent of the general population.
- Autism-associated health problems extend across the life span from young children to senior citizens. Nearly a third of 2 to 5 year olds with autism are overweight and 16 percent are obese. By contrast, less than a quarter of 2 to 5 year olds in the general population are overweight and only 10 percent are medically obese.
- Risperidone and aripiprazole, the only FDA-approved medications for autism-associated agitation and irritability.
What Age Do Autistic Children Talk
What Age Do Autistic Children Talk? Autistic children with verbal communication generally hit language milestones later than children with typical development. While typically developing children produce their first words between 12 and 18 months old, autistic children were found to do so at an average of 36 months.
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What Role Do Genes Play
Twin and family studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism. Identical twin studies show that if one twin is affected, then the other will be affected between 36 to 95 percent of the time. There are a number of studies in progress to determine the specific genetic factors associated with the development of ASD. In families with one child with ASD, the risk of having a second child with the disorder also increases. Many of the genes found to be associated with autism are involved in the function of the chemical connections between brain neurons . Researchers are looking for clues about which genes contribute to increased susceptibility. In some cases, parents and other relatives of a child with ASD show mild impairments in social communication skills or engage in repetitive behaviors. Evidence also suggests that emotional disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia occur more frequently than average in the families of people with ASD.
Fact Versus Fiction 6 Myths About Autism Dispelled
Since first being recognized as a mental health condition in the mid-twentieth century, autism has remained popularly misunderstood. In the 1950s, the refrigerator mother hypothesis took root in the public consciousness, leading many to believe that autism was caused by mothers who neglected to warmly nurture their children. Long since disproved, it leaves in its wake myriad other myths about autism, the continuance of which can lead to adverse outcomes for people with this condition.Combating this misinformation is important to increasing autism awareness and ensure the kind treatment of people with autism. In this post, we will dispel six common myths about autism and explore the facts surrounding each of these claims.
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What Are The Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Signs of ASD range from mild to severely disabling, and every person is different. The following signs are considered to be red flags that indicate your young child may be at risk for autism. If your child shows any of the following signs, please get in touch with your childs healthcare provider to discuss a referral for an autism evaluation.
The signs include the following:
- Your child doesnt respond to their name being called at all or responds inconsistently.
- Your child doesnt smile widely or make warm, joyful expressions by the age of 6 months.
- Your child doesnt engage in smiling, making sounds and making faces with you or other people by the age of 9 months.
- Your child doesnt babble by 12 months.
- No back-and-forth gestures such as showing, pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months.
- No words by 16 months.
- No meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months.
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.
What Are The Causes Of Autism
The exact cause of autism is still under research, although the following factors predispose an individual to the development of autism
- Gender: Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls.
- Children born to older parents are at high risk of autism spectrum disorder .
- ASD is often seen if a parent or sibling suffers from autistic disorders.
- Genes: People suffering from genetic diseases such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis have a higher risk of ASD.
- Medication: Certain drugs such as valproic acid and thalidomide taken by the mother during pregnancy may cause the development of autistic characteristics in the child.
It must be noted that autism is not contagious. It does not spread by playing with or having contact with an affected child. Additionally, there is no relationship between vaccinations and autism development.
- Not responding to name by 12 months
- Not pointing to distant object by 14 months
Symptoms of autism in a child around five years
Symptoms of autism in an adult
- Difficulty in interacting with other people.
- Unable to pick up on body language and emotional subtext in conversations.
- Avoid eye contact while speaking.
- Extreme anxiety in various social situations.
- They may make friends but are unable to maintain friendships or relations.
- Extreme distress at even a minor change in routine.
- Stubborn adherence to rules.
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