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Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning

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Asd Level 1: Requiring Support

Level 1 is the mildest, or highest functioning form of autism, which includes those who would have previously been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. Individuals with ASD level 1 may have difficulty understanding social cues and may struggle to form and maintain personal relationships. A child with level 1 autism may understand and speak in complete sentences, but have difficulty engaging in back-and-forth conversation.

Children with ASD level 1 experience some inflexibility of behavior, like difficulty switching between tasks, staying organized, and planning.

Impairment In Social Skills

Someone with severe autism has extreme difficulty interacting with other people. The child or adult might completely exclude interacting with others and prefer to be alone. The individual may not be aware of what others are saying or doing, and it may take significant effort to gain his or her attention.

Challenges For Individuals With Level 1 Autism

Some of the biggest challenges for individuals with level 1 autism is the expectation that they be the same as everyone else. While those with a level 2 or 3 diagnosis may receive accommodations, individuals with level 1 autism are often expected to conform to social norms. Many assume that because they may be intelligent and able to communicate, that they dont have the same challenges as others on the spectrum.

People with level 1 autism may be very aware of their own difficulties and the negative reactions of others. Yet they are unable to control the fact that they have sensory issues, lack social awareness or experience anxiety and depression. Like others on the spectrum they may experience difficulty with transitions or change, and may struggle to maintain effective social communication.

Determining The Level Of Autism

There is no specific test to ascertain an individuals unique level of ASD. Rather, a doctor or psychologist needs to spend time with the individual to observe their behavior. This enables the medical professional to gauge the persons social and emotional development and capabilities, as well as their communication skills. They will also look at the persons ability to form and maintain relationships with those around them.

Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosable as early as eighteen months of age. However, many individuals do not get diagnosed until later in life, making treatment more challenging. If you suspect your child has ASD, you should go see a specialist at the first opportunity. Various treatment options exist in Little Rock for those with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

Does Autism Get Worse After Age 2

Understanding the Three Levels of Autism

While parents typically report concerns in the first year of life,3 many children do not receive diagnoses until much later. Several studies have suggested that diagnoses of autism made at age 2 years are stable through age 3 years,4-7 and diagnoses made by age 5 years are stable up to late adolescence.

Augmentative And Alternative Communication

Augmentative and alternative communication is used for autistic patients who cannot communicate orally. Patients who have problems speaking may be taught to use other forms of communication, such as body language, computers, interactive devices, and pictures. The Picture Exchange Communication System is a commonly used form of augmentative and alternative communication with children and adults who cannot communicate well orally. Patients are taught how to link pictures and symbols to their feelings, desires and observation, and may be able to link sentences together with the vocabulary that they form.

Asperger Syndrome And High Functioning Autism

The diagnosis of AS required at least two symptoms of social interaction impairment and one symptom of behavioral and interest restriction, a normal cognitive functioning and the absence of significant general delay in language. Moreover, diagnostic criteria for Autistic Disorder should not be met . This implied a differential diagnosis between AS and Autism, especially the type without cognitive delay, also known as High Functioning Autism . HFA is not a term used in the DSM, but it is commonly used to identify patients diagnosed with Autistic Disorder or PDD-Not Other Specified , with average or above average intellectual abilities . HFA differs from low-functioning autism in terms of clinical presentation, prognosis and need of support and assistance in daily life. Since AS and HFA are both characterized by a normal cognitive functioning, there has been considerable debate over whether AS and HFA are distinct conditions, suggesting different etiological and neurobiological mechanism, or share a similar underlying neuropsychological functioning and should therefore be regarded as variants of a single disorder .

According to Hans Asperger original description, his patients differ from those described by Kanner . Instead, Lorna Wing, translating Aspergers work, named the syndrome and Kanners autism both part of an autistic continuum .

Making Sense Of The Dsm

My granddaughter was just diagnosed with autism and level 1.5. What does that mean and what’s the differences between that and aspergers?

  • Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.
  • Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.
  • Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.
  • Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech .
  • Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior .
  • Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus .
  • Hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment .
  • More resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s:

    Paradoxical Reactions To Chemical Substances

    An additional sign of a structural altered signal processing in the are the more frequently observed in patients with ADD. This are unexpected opposite reactions to what would usually be expected, or other deviating reactions. Substances which play hereby a role are neuroactive substances like local anesthesia , tranquilizers, caffeine, antihistamine, low-potency neuroleptic as well as central and peripheral pain killers. Due to that paradoxical reactions may at least partly have a genetical cause, it may be reasonable to ask in a critical situation, like a surgery, if such reactions occurred in the patient or relatives.

    Not Classic Autism Symptoms

    The biggest problem with high functioning autism is that many parents and even some doctors are not sure what to look for. This is mostly because high functioning autistics can often blend in and adapt to situations.

    As I said, when you think of Autism you often picture a child who is nonverbal and rocking back and forth in a corner. However, there are definitely clear signs of high functioning autism. They are just not necessarily the classic autism symptoms that you hear about.

    Ways Low Functioning Autism Differs From High

    No two children with ASD will experience the same symptoms. Rather, doctors place children on a spectrum according to severity.

    Aspergers syndrome is now considered related to by distinct from autism. Children with Aspergers syndrome are the highest functioning on the spectrum. Children with limited communication skills and behavioral regulation have low functioning autism.

    Low Functioning Vs High Functioning Autism

    In contrast, the phrase low functioning is often used to describe someone who has significant challenges that may prevent them from participating in normal activities such as going to school or work. These individuals are often non-verbal and may engage in a variety of behaviors others find strange. When an individual is labeled low functioning assumptions may be made about what that person is capable of achieving, or even how aware they may be of what is going on around them.

    What Is Low Functioning Autism

    Montana Autism Education Project: June 2017

    The difference between high functioning autism and low functioning autism is behavioral. Low functioning autism causes behaviors that inhibit the ability to conduct daily life. Children with high functioning autism have similar abilities to his/her neurotypical peers.

    This is especially true when the child receives early intervention therapies. Children diagnosed with low functioning autism need more support. They struggle to communicate and manage their behaviors.

    Symptoms are identifiable in infancy or early childhood. Children with autism spectrum disorder will not meet neurodevelopmental benchmarks on time or at all. These children experience delays in learning how to self-soothe, forming bonds, and talking. They usually experience severe communication and behavioral challenges.

    Children with low functioning autism struggle to complete activities of daily living. They generally need help with most activities. Children with severe autism are more likely to have co-morbid conditions. These include such as Fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, and epilepsy.

    Understanding The Three Levels Of Autism

    Steven Gans, MD, is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    Anyone who meets the criteria for having autism spectrum disorder will be further diagnosed as having ASD level 1, ASD level 2, or ASD level 3, according to criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition .

    These levels are based on a person’s strengths and limitations in regards to their ability to communicate, adapt to new situations, expand beyond restricted interests, and manage daily life. They specifically indicate how much support an autistic person needs, with level 1 meaning relatively little support is required and level 3 indicating the need for a great deal of support.

    The three levels of autism make it possible for doctors to make a specific diagnosis and also helps people who are taking care of someone with autism have a clear understanding of that person’s strengths and limitations. The levels described in the DSM-5 reflect a more refined way of diagnosing autism than that of the previous DSM.

    In the previous versionthe DSM-IVautism was divided into five distinct diagnoses ranging from Asperger’s syndrome to autistic disorder, which indicated severe autism.

    Limitations Of Asd Levels

    Although the ASD levels are useful for indicating autism severity and support needs, the categories aren’t comprehensive. They can be subjective and lacking in nuance, and the DSM-5 offers little specificity regarding the types of support indicated or situations in which support is needed. For example, some autistic people need support at school but are fine at home, while others may do well at school but struggle in social situations.

    What’s more, the level a person is assigned when they’re first diagnosed can shift as they develop and refine social skills and as the severity of issues such as anxiety or depression, common among people with autism, fluctuates.

    The bottom line: Being assigned one of the three levels of autism can be useful for understanding how high- or low-functioning someone is likely to be and determining what types of services and supports would serve them best. It won’t, however, predict or account for nuances in their personality and behavior, which means the support and services they receive will need to be highly individualized.

    What Does Autism Level 2 Mean

    Level 2: Requiring Substantial Support: Marked difficulties in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills. Markedly odd, restricted repetitive behaviors, noticeable difficulties changing activities or focus. Level 3: Requiring Very Substantial Support: Severe difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication.

    Level 3 Asd: Requiring Very Substantial Support

    This level is the most severe form of autism spectrum disorder. People at Level 3 exhibit significant difficulties with social communication as well as social skills.

    People with Level 3 ASD also have restricted and repetitive behaviors to the extent that they get in the way of functioning independently in their daily lives and activities. They have extreme difficulty coping with changes. Changes cause great stress and difficulty.

    Some people with Level 3 ASD can communicate with words. However, many of them do not communicate verbally or do not use many words in communication. They may be over- or under-sensitive to certain sensory inputs.

    Individuals with Level 3 ASD speak with few words, they rarely initiate interaction. When they do initiate interaction, it is limited to meeting needs only. They engage in restricted and repetitive behaviors like echolalia, rocking back and forth, or spinning things.

    Those at Level 3 ASD require very substantial support in order to acquire skills to help them in their daily lives.

    Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia

    Autism is a spectrum disorder that causes social and behavioral problems. There are three different levels of autism, which range from mild to severe.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about one in 59 children have autism. Signs of the condition are usually present at a young age, but occasionally people do not receive a diagnosis until adulthood.

    According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 , doctors categorize autism by assigning level 1, 2, or 3 to two of the domains of symptoms.

    One severity score is for impairment in social function, while a second severity score is for restrictive, repetitive behaviors. The levels the doctor assigns depend on the severity of the symptoms.

    A correct autism diagnosis that includes the levels of severity can help doctors and other specialists work with the individual to provide the right treatment and support. In this article, learn more about the levels of autism.

    Current And Proposed Specifier

    At present, DSM-5 allows to use specifiers of language impairment, intellectual impairment and severity levels to distinguish clinical profiles of ASD broader category. Nevertheless, considering the results obtained from the clinical profiles comparison and from the DSM-5 severity levels distinction, it is necessary to consider the risk that, in the severity specifier Level 1 of the DSM-5, many phenotypic variances could be squeezed making this level very heterogeneous. Because of this, any attempts to predict clinical outcomes, develop individualized treatment targets or identify etiological factors may become unreal . Lai et al. underlined that defining autism using the umbrella term ASD, could hide the evident heterogeneity. In order to make progress in autism research and ultimately improve clinical practice, there is the necessity to move forward in the identification of subtypes within the autism spectrum. Maybe, a subtype specifier for HFA and AS could be useful to direct specific age-related paths of treatment .

    In the present study, the suggested threshold is lower .

    What Does Level 2 Autism Look Like

    Level 2: Requiring Substantial Support: Marked difficulties in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills. Markedly odd, restricted repetitive behaviors, noticeable difficulties changing activities or focus. Level 3: Requiring Very Substantial Support: Severe difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication.

    The Levels Of Autism: Unique Treatment Approaches For Each


    Autism is a disorder where people suffer from a range of social, communication, and behavioral problems. The disabilities occur on a spectrum, which is why autism is also known as autism spectrum disorder.

    There are three general levels of autism, ranging from mild impairments that require minimal therapy and intervention, to severe impairments that need intensive, multidisciplinary guidance. 

    Regardless of the level, autism is a lifelong condition. Even those with only a mild form of the disability will require some degree of ongoing therapy and monitoring for many years. 

    The Difference Between Low And High Functioning Autism

    The differences between Low and High Functioning Autism can be extreme and most individuals fall somewhere in between and are high functioning in some areas and low functioning in others. Many children with autism that are considered high functioning or may have previously been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome are able to learn tools to help them overcome or control their symptoms so they can lead independent and productive lives. They are able to go to college, have successful careers, have healthy relationships and live completely independently. The label of high functioning has been ridiculed by those who it refers to because it diminishes the severity of their symptoms in other areas. For example, someone may be able to excel at school and in their career but still suffer from extreme social anxiety and depression.

    Low functioning autism, on the other hand, refers to those individuals who cannot even perform simple, daily tasks by themselves. They have a more difficult time learning coping mechanisms and controlling their symptoms. They generally require constant supervision and the support of a guardian throughout their entire lives. Again the label has been ridiculed because it can hinder them from getting support and encouragement to overcome some of their limitations.

    Explaining Autism To Your Family And Friends

    After receiving your childs autism diagnosis, youll likely have new questions every day. One thing that most parents struggle with at first is how to explain autism to their friends and family. Being honest about your childs diagnosis and how it affects him/her is important. The more you educate people in your childs life, the more successful interactions will be.

    Give people concrete ideas on how to support your child and interact with him/her. Explain to family and friends how autism affects your child. Give specific examples and explain your childs reactions. To the extent that you are comfortable, provide comprehensive answers to their questions.

    People will likely have lots of questions. It is okay to tell people you are still figuring things out. It is fine to say that you do not have all the answers and refer them to a helpful article. These conversations are ongoing ones. Each time you start a new conversation, it will likely get easier.

    Improvement In Functioning Levels

    It’s important to remember that the functioning level of an individual on the autism spectrum can change dramatically with the right therapies and treatments. The journal Pediatrics published a study reporting that one early intervention model improved children’s IQs by an average of 17.6 points.

    Additionally, early intervention, especially before the age of three years, can improve adaptive behaviors, social functioning, language usage, and behavioral issues. This can result in an overall improvement in the individual’s ability to function at a higher level.

    #4 Awkward Interactions With Peers

    Even children with high-functioning autism display problems when interacting with peers.  Adults working closely with kids may notice this through their play behaviors.

    These children have major deficits in communicating with those outside their limited social circle.  This makes it difficult for them to form new relationships.

    For toddlers, it might be that they have a problem with sharing toys.  For teens, it might be difficulty completing group work assignments.  This presents a challenge for peers who dont quite understand the person with autism.  And when the autistic person cant explain these feelings, it intensifies the awkwardness.

    Theories And Empirical Research


    is a study and theory of relationships especially within hierarchies. Social harmonyâthe central goal of Confucianismâresults in part from every individual knowing his or her place in the social order, and playing his or her part well. Particular duties arise from each person’s particular situation in relation to others. The individual stands simultaneously in several different relationships with different people: as a junior in relation to parents and elders; and as a senior in relation to younger siblings, students, and others. Juniors are considered in Confucianism to owe their seniors reverence and seniors have duties of benevolence and concern toward juniors. A focus on mutuality is prevalent in East Asian cultures to this day.

    Minding relationships

    The mindfulness theory of relationships shows how closeness in relationships may be enhanced. Minding is the “reciprocal knowing process involving the nonstop, interrelated thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons in a relationship.” Five components of “minding” include:

  • Knowing and being known: seeking to understand the partner
  • Making relationship-enhancing attributions for behaviors: giving the benefit of the doubt
  • Accepting and respecting: and social skills
  • Maintaining reciprocity: active participation in relationship enhancement
  • Continuity in minding: persisting in mindfulness
  • What Stereotyped Behaviors Look Like

    Repetitive behaviors in autism can vary radically from person to person. For some, it involves saying or talking about the same things over and over again.

    This can include things like listing all of Marvel’s Avengers and their powers, reciting scripts from TV, or asking the same question many times in a row).

    For others, it involves physical actions such as repetitive rocking, flicking, or pacing. In more severe autism, stereotyped behaviors can be violent, like head-banging.

    Some people on the autism spectrum engage in repetitive behaviors constantly, while others only occasionally perseverate when they’re stressed, anxious, or upset.

    Many people with autism feel very anxious when asked to change their routine or schedule. While changes can be annoying to someone who is not autistic, autistic reactions to change can be extreme.

    When a person with autism is asked to change a routine, for example, the response can be overwhelming anxiety or anger, even if the person is very high functioning.

    Sometimes, perseverative or stereotyped behaviors are obvious because they’re so marked or unusual. Rocking back and forth for long periods, repetitively opening and closing doors, or reciting lines over and over are clearly unusual behaviors.

    Often, however, autistic perseveration may not be obvious to the casual observer.

    As a parent or close friend, you might know the speech backward and forward, but as a new friend, you may not know they’ve said it before.

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
    People with ADHD may find focusing on and completing tasks such as schoolwork more difficult than others do.
    Difficulty paying , excessive activity,
    Usual onset
    “Women and girls with ADHD”, 04.17.2020, with Stephen P. Hinshaw and others,

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a , , and characterized by , bouts of excessive energy, hyper-fixation, and , which are pervasive, impairing, and otherwise . Some individuals with ADHD also display difficulty regulating emotions or problems with . For a diagnosis, the symptoms have to be present for more than six months, and cause problems in at least two settings . In children, problems paying attention may result in poor . Additionally, it is associated with other and . Although it causes impairment, particularly in modern society, many people with ADHD have sustained attention for tasks they find interesting or rewarding, known as .

    Autism Spectrum Disorder: Is There A Treatment


    There are several Autism Spectrum therapies but the most common therapeutic approaches include the Picture Exchange Communication System , Treatment of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children , Applied Behavioural Analysis , sensory integration and speech and language therapy. 

    However, there are many others that have proven to be effective, they are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and they are the Discrete Trial Training , Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention , Pivotal Response Treatment and Verbal Behavior Intervention  . 

    Many treatments have been proposed for treating Autism Spectrum Disorders were specialized and supportive educational programming, communication and social skills training, and behavioral therapy are contemplated to be the most effective.

    Interdisciplinary approaches include occupational and physical therapy to address comorbid difficulties such as coordination and sensory deficits.

    In regards to behavioral therapy as is the case of ABA , the main goal is the improvement of severe behavioral problems in several areas such as language, social or academic skills.

    If we talk about Autism Spectrum Therapies, we necessarily need to understand what Autism Spectrum Disorder is. 

    Has The Definition Of High Functioning Autism Changed

    Yes, absolutely.  There is a lot of confusion about the definition of High Functioning Autism and you may get a variety of definitions depending on who you ask.

    Lets take the internet for example.

    Type high functioning autism definition into the Google search engine and the first page of results is a mixed bag of definitions.

    Here are four examples* I have chosen to illustrate the many differences you can find.

    High-functioning autism  is autism without an intellectual disability .

    people with autism spectrum disorder who read, write, speak, and manage life skills without much assistance.

    Although diagnosed formally with ASD, people with HFA often lead remarkably normal lives and have less difficulty assimilating into society than other ASD patients.

    High-Functioning Autism specifically applies to children with autism who have an IQ of 70 or higher and exhibit milder symptoms. For example, these children exhibit fewer language delays, few to no cognitive deficits, and better spatial skills.

    Alarmingly, some of these definitions include statements that I have included above in the What High-Functioning Autism Does Not Mean section.

    It seems the term, High Functioning Autism, has had a range of additional qualifying statements attached to it that has skewed its original meaning and purpose.

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