Tuesday, April 9, 2024

What Are The 3 Main Characteristics Of Autism

Don't Miss

What Are The Different Types Of Autism

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition is published by the American Psychiatric Association . Clinicians use it to diagnose a variety of psychiatric disorders.

The most recent fifth edition of the DSM was released in 2013. The DSM-5 currently recognizes five different ASD subtypes, or specifiers. They are:

  • with or without accompanying intellectual impairment
  • with or without accompanying language impairment
  • associated with a known medical or genetic condition or environmental factor
  • associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder

Someone can receive a diagnosis of one or more specifiers.

Before the DSM-5, autistic people may have received a diagnosis of:

Its important to note that a person who received one of these earlier diagnoses hasnt lost their diagnosis and wont need to be reevaluated.

Symptoms of ASD typically become clearly evident during early childhood, between 12 and 24 months of age. However, symptoms may also appear earlier or later.

Early symptoms may include a marked delay in language or social development.

The DSM-5 divides symptoms of ASD into two categories: problems with communication and social interaction, and restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or activities.

What Disorders Are Related To Asd

Certain known genetic disorders are associated with an increased risk for autism, including Fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis each of which results from a mutation in a single, but different, gene. Recently, researchers have discovered other genetic mutations in children diagnosed with autism, including some that have not yet been designated as named syndromes. While each of these disorders is rare, in aggregate, they may account for 20 percent or more of all autism cases.

People with ASD also have a higher than average risk of having epilepsy. Children whose language skills regress early in life before age 3 appear to have a risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. About 20 to 30 percent of children with ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. Additionally, people with both ASD and intellectual disability have the greatest risk of developing seizure disorder.

Problems With Communication And Social Interaction

These can include:

  • issues with communication, including difficulties sharing emotions, sharing interests, or maintaining a back-and-forth conversation
  • issues with nonspeaking communication, such as trouble maintaining eye contact or reading body language
  • difficulties developing and maintaining relationships

Typical Characteristics Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

An individual with autism does not always show every symptom. However, there are some characteristics and observed indications.  Determining these indications early on is substantially important for the education of the individual. Starting the education early on enables individual with autism to easily adapt to life and society. Also, parents learn how to approach their children with autism and act accordingly.

Generally, autism shows itself in terms of 3 different states. The individual should show at least two of these indications under these categories. Social interaction problems, communication problems, limited and recurring behaviors are 3 main topics that make up the categories. Lets see which symptoms are listed under these topics:

What Vitamins Minerals And Diet Changes Treat Autism Signs And Symptoms

Introduction toAutism LD310

Although many studies have been done to assess whether abnormal amounts of vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients can be found in people with autism, results have not clearly pointed to any abnormalities that are consistently linked with the disorder. Although few, if any, of these claims are backed up by scientific studies, parents and physicians alike have reported improvement in symptoms in people given certain supplements, including vitamin B, magnesium, cod liver oil, and vitamin C.

Some people with autism have food sensitivities and food allergies and dietary management is important to in these cases to maintain nutrition and health. Another focus of dietary therapy is on problems with intestinal digestion and absorption of nutrients in foods suspected to be present in some individuals with autism. Some parents and professionals have reported improvements in symptoms of autism when diets eliminating suspect proteins, such as gluten , are consistently followed. However, there are no scientific studies to confirm their effectiveness.

Do not start giving a child supplements or dramatically change his or her diet without discussing it with the treatment team. It is important to maintain adequate nutrition to ensure optimal growth and development. Furthermore, although vitamins, minerals, and many other substances available as supplements are necessary for body functions, some of them can be dangerous if taken in excess.

Why This Terminology Is No Longer Used By Doctors

The spectrum illustrates a broad range of developmental delays and symptom severity.

ASD includes people who have a few mild autistic traits to those who need help with day-to-day functioning. It represents every intelligence level, as well as varying degrees of communication and social abilities.

The differences between one type and another type can be subtle and difficult to determine.

Autism Q & A: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Recent reports estimate that, on average, as many as one in every 59 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder . ASD is considered to be a lifelong neurological developmental disability for which there is no known etiology or cure. It affects individuals from all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. ASD is four to five times more common in boys, and the first signs usually appear before the age of three.

Question: What is ASD?

Answer: Autism spectrum disorder represents a complex developmental disability that is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. ASD impacts an individual’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others. The term autism spectrum disorder is used because the range of symptoms can occur in any combination and can range from mild to very severe. Every individual with ASD is unique in their abilities and challenges.

Question: What are the primary characteristics of autism spectrum disorder?

Answer: Every individual with ASD is different. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association is used by clinicians and researchers to diagnose and classify disorders, including ASD. The DSM 5th edition , released in May, 2013, provides the latest definition of ASD based on what science and research have uncovered over time.

  • Preoccupation with objects or topics of interest
  • Inflexibility
  • Summary

    What Is The Prognosis For Autism Can It Be Cured

    Although, to different degrees of severity, the core features of autism are life-long, predicting the course for an individual with autism is very difficult. Many different variables enter into each person’s experience with autism, including the symptoms and associated behaviors and their severity, the family environment, and the types of interventions used. An individual’s IQ is often a predictor of future functioning, with increasing IQ and communication skills associated with an increased ability to live independently. Some people with autism are able to develop their communication and social skills to a degree that allows them a fair degree of independence. Others can learn some skills but still require ongoing support from their family and others throughout their lives.

    There is no cure for autism.

    What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Autism

    • There is no lab test or X-ray that can confirm the diagnosis of autism. The diagnosis of autism is based on clinical judgment regarding observations of the individual’s behavior. Information from family members and other observers is of primary importance in making the diagnosis; however, the pediatrician may order tests to rule out other conditions that might be confused with autism, such as mental retardation, metabolic or genetic diseases, or deafness.
    • A single visit with the pediatrician is not enough to establish the diagnosis of autism.
    • The pediatrician observes the child and may do a simple screening test to see if a developmental problem may be present.

    Screening tests do not diagnose autism. Done in the office, they are simple tests that indicate a problem may exist. They usually involve simply observing specific behaviors or how a child responds to simple commands or questions . Some widely used screening tests include the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers for children aged 18 months to 4 years of age and the Autism Screening Questionnaire for children aged 4 years and older.

    The comprehensive evaluation of a child with autism might include:

    • obtaining complete medical and family history;
    • physical exam;
    • formal audiology evaluation;
    • selected medical/lab tests on an individual basis ;
    • speech, language, and communication assessment;
    • cognitive and behavioral assessments ; and
    • academic assessment .

    Social Communication And Social Interaction Challenges

    Social communication

    Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Some autistic people are unable to speak or have limited speech while other autistic people have very good language skills but struggle to understand sarcasm or tone of voice. Other challenges include:

    • taking things literally and not understanding abstract concepts
    • needing extra time to process information or answer questions
    • repeating what others say to them

    Social interaction

    Autistic people often have difficulty ‘reading’ other people – recognising or understanding others’ feelings and intentions – and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard to navigate the social world. Autistic people may:

    • appear to be insensitive
    • seek out time alone when overloaded by other people
    • not seek comfort from other people
    • appear to behave ‘strangely’ or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate
    • find it hard to form friendships.

    Read more about social communication and social interaction challenges here

    How Does Autism Affect Kids

    Autistic children may not reach the same developmental milestones as their peers, or they may demonstrate the loss of previously developed social or language skills.

    For instance, a 2-year-old without autism may show interest in simple games of make-believe. A 4-year-old without autism may enjoy engaging in activities with other children. An autistic child may have trouble interacting with others or dislike it altogether.

    Autistic children may also engage in repetitive behaviors, have difficulty sleeping, or compulsively eat nonfood items. They may find it hard to thrive without a structured environment or consistent routine.

    If your child is autistic, you may have to work closely with their teachers to ensure they succeed in the classroom.

    Many resources are available to help autistic children as well as their loved ones. Local support groups can be found through the national nonprofit The Autism Society of America.

    Measles Mumps And Rubella Vaccine And The Asd Hypothesis

    An article published in 1998 suggested a possible relationship between the MMR vaccine and ASD. Since then, there has been a decline in the rate of MMR vaccination among children., As a consequence of that, there have been measles outbreaks. These factors led to the conduction of large worldwide studies to examine this potential relationship. These studies showed that there is no association between MMR vaccine and ASDs. The measles vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective in preventing this potentially lethal disease. Therefore, with the lack of scientific evidence that MMR vaccine is causally related to autism, the administration of MMR vaccine should be encouraged to prevent measles outbreak.

    What Behavioral Therapies Treat Autism Signs And Symptoms In Toddlers And Children

    Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Behavioral therapies

    Behavioral therapy is the foundation for most treatment programs for children with autism. More than 30 years of research has shown the benefit of applied behavioral methods in improving communication, learning, adaptive behavior, and appropriate social behavior while reducing inappropriate behavior in children with autism. There is strong evidence that these interventions are most effective when started early, typically in the preschool years. A range of scientifically supported behavioral treatment has been developed that may be helpful for some children with autism. These are mainly based on the principles of applied behavior analysis.

    Applied behavior analysis is designed to both correct behavior and teach skills for dealing with specific situations. It is based on the principle of reinforcement: that behavior can be changed by rewarding desired behavior and removing reinforcement for unwanted behavior. The person will naturally repeat behaviors for which he or she is rewarded. This principle is applied in many different ways, such as discrete trial training, incidental teaching, errorless learning, and shaping and fading. Most treatment programs include a number of ABA therapies.

    What Are Common Signs

    It is important to always remember that individually, autistic people are very different to each other. This is because autistic people have their own individual personalities, histories, families, experiences, likes and dislikes. They are just as different to each other as neurotypical people are to each other. However, there are some common traits that autistic people often share, such as sensory differences, communication preference differences, a preference for honesty and enjoying passionate interests.

    Terms For Types Of Autism That Are No Longer Used Today

    When autism was categorized by types, the lines between the different types of autism could be blurry. Diagnosis was, and still is, complicated and often stressful for families.

    If you or your child received a diagnosis before the DSM-5 changed, you may still be using the older terminology . Thats OK. Your doctor may continue to use those terms if they help.

    What Educational And Complementary Therapies Are Used To Treat Autism


    The main principle of education is that each person with autism has his or her own strengths, abilities, and functional level and that his or her education should be tailored to meet his or her individual requirements. This is not only desirable for the child, it is required by federal law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act guarantees free and appropriate public education for every child with a disability. This law specifies that a written and explicit education plan be prepared by the local education authority in consultation with the child’s parents. When all parties agree on the plan, the plan must be put into place and the child’s progress documented. Preparation of the plan includes a comprehensive assessment of the child’s needs.

    Many different options are available for educating children with autism. The basic assumption is that, whenever possible, children with disabilities should be educated with their nondisabled peers, who serve as models for appropriate language, social, and behavioral skills. Thus, some children with autism are educated in mainstream classrooms, others in special education classes within mainstream public schools, and others in specialized programs separate from mainstream public schools. Parents wanting to find the best possible program for their child are advised to work with the local education authority; full cooperation and communication are essential for meeting this goal.

    Complementary therapies

    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.

    Can Diet Have An Impact On Autism

    Theres no specific diet designed for autistic people. Nevertheless, some autism advocates are exploring dietary changes as a way to help minimize behavioral issues and increase overall quality of life.

    A foundation of the autism diet is the avoidance of artificial additives. These include preservatives, colors, and sweeteners.

    An autism diet may instead focus on whole foods, such as:

    Some autism advocates also endorse a gluten-free diet. The protein gluten is found in wheat, barley, and other grains.

    Those advocates believe that gluten creates inflammation and adverse bodily reactions in certain autistic people. However, scientific research is inconclusive on the relationship between autism, gluten, and another protein known as casein.

    Social Deficits With Autism

    First, lets talk about the social deficits. All individuals must have or have had persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts, not accounted for by general developmental delays, and manifested by all 3 of the following:

    • Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity; behaviours range from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back and forth conversation, to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; and involves the failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.
    • Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviours used for social interaction, ranging from poorly integrated- verbal and nonverbal communication to abnormalities in eye contact and body-language, or deficits in understanding and using gestures, to a total lack of facial expression and non-verbal communication.
    • Deficits in developing, maintaining and understanding relationships; behaviours here range from having difficulties adjusting their behaviour to suit various social contexts, to having difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; or an absence of interest in peers.

    The Core Symptoms Of Autism Are:

    • social communication challengesand

    • begin in early childhood
    • persistand
    • interfere with daily living.

    Specialized healthcare providers diagnose autism using a checklist of criteria in the two categories above. They also assess autism symptomseverity. Autisms severity scale reflects how much support a person needs for daily function.

    Many people with autism have sensory issues. These typically involve over- or under-sensitivities to sounds, lights, touch, tastes, smells, pain and other stimuli.

    Autism is also associated with high rates of certain physical and mental health conditions.

    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.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are not yet known. Scientists believe there are multiple causes of ASD that act together to change the most common ways people develop. We still have much to learn about these causes and how they impact people with ASD.

    There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people. They may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The abilities of people with ASD can vary significantly. For example, some people with ASD may have advanced conversation skills whereas others may be nonverbal. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others can work and live with little to no support.

    ASD begins before the age of 3 years and can last throughout a persons life, although symptoms may improve over time. Some children show ASD symptoms within the first 12 months of life. In others, symptoms may not show up until 24 months or later. Some children with ASD gain new skills and meet developmental milestones, until around 18 to 24 months of age and then they stop gaining new skills, or they lose the skills they once had.

    What Is An Aspergers Meltdown

    A meltdown is where a person with autism or Aspergers temporarily loses control because of emotional responses to environmental factors. They arent usually caused by one specific thing. Triggers build up until the person becomes so overwhelmed that they cant take in any more information.

    Discover more on DecorScan Questions and Answers, and dont forget to share your answers !

    Family Support For Autistic People

    The family members of autistic individuals  are also likely to need some support. Having an autistic child can have a significant effect on parents, who may react to the diagnosis in a variety of ways, including relief, shock, grief, anger and guilt. 

    Feelings of stress, confusion and anxiety are also common in parents who are caring for an autistic child. It can be valuable for parents to consider joining a support group or participating in counselling.

    For more information visit the Better Health Channel page Autism spectrum disorder tips for parents.

    Where Can I Get Information About Support Groups And Counseling For Autism

    Having a child diagnosed with autism can be a devastating experience for many parents and families. They may feel frustrated, confused, and afraid-they may even “grieve” for their “normal child.”

    Living with autism presents many new challenges for the person with autism and for his or her family and friends.

    Parents of autistic children certainly have many worries. They wonder if their children will be able to achieve, if they will be able to be independent, and if they will be able to be happy and enjoy life. Parents also probably have many worries about how the autism will affect them and their ability to live a normal life, that is, to care for their family and home, to hold a job, and to continue the friendships and activities they enjoy. Many people feel anxious and depressed. Some people feel angry and resentful; others feel helpless and defeated.

    For most people who have a child with autism, and even for some with autism themselves, talking about their feelings and concerns helps.

    Friends and family members can be very supportive. They may be hesitant to offer support until they see how you are coping. Don’t wait for them to bring it up. If you want to talk about your concerns, let them know.

    For information about support groups in the area for families with an autistic child, contact the following organizations:

    Common Characteristics Of Autism

    Ultimately, the most important thing is understanding how to help a child with their specific needs after their autism diagnosis, and identifying the characteristics of their case can be key to this. There are three core deficits of autism spectrum disorder :

    • Impaired communication: A delay in or lack of development of spoken language or gestures
    • Impaired social interaction: Lack of spontaneous sharing, social or emotional reciprocity, or difficulty developing peer relationships
    • Stereotypy: Inappropriate repetitive movements that are maintained by automatic reinforcement

    Each of these core deficits has a direct effect on the examples of what you will read below.

    Main Characteristics Of Autism

    While there are many symptoms that often afflict individuals with autism, these three are considered the most characteristic symptoms in autism.

    These are the 3 main characteristics that are necessary for a diagnosis of Autism according to the DSM-5.

    Below these, we have also listed 5 other symptoms that often accompany these 3 symptoms.

    What is the DSM?

    The Diagnostic Statistical Manual is the most commonly used manual for diagnosing psychiatric disorders and conditions. Since psychiatric disorders are often not well defined by an underlying cause, manuals like these are used to define what consistitutes a disorder and what is normal behavior.

    Markedly Restricted Repertoire Of Activities And Interests

    This refers to the inability to relate normally to objects and events in the environment. Autistic individuals frequently are obsessive/compulsive about the state of their surroundings. They may require certain elements to remain the same, from the positions of objects to the order of their routines. This inflexibility can lead to a very rigid lifestyle. Autistic people may develop bizarre attachments to objects, such as a piece of string, or they may become preoccupied with a particular aspect of an object. Frequently they may engage in stereotypical motor behaviours such as hand flapping and rocking. They may experience a profoundly restricted range of interests and a preoccupation with one narrow interest.

    More articles

    Popular Articles