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What Does It Mean To Be Mildly Autistic

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Mild Autism In Adults

What Is Considered Mild Autism? | Autism

Symptoms of mild autism in adults are more or less similar to those found in case of children. This article will give you detailed information on autism in adults.

Symptoms of mild autism in adults are more or less similar to those found in case of children. This article will give you detailed information on autism in adults.

If you have watched movies like Mozart and the Whale or My Name is Khan, you must be having some idea on what autism is. Well, you may argue that the disorder shown in both the movies is the Aspergers syndrome. This is true, but, Aspergers syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, that is found in adults. It should be noted that autism develops in childhood and never in adulthood. Therefore, even if symptoms of autism are found in adults, they have always had the disorder since childhood. There are several peculiar signs and symptoms which help in identifying mild autism in adults. Here we will take a look at the symptoms and treatment methods for autism.

Theres Nothing Mild About Mild Autism

When you or your family are first faced with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, it is often difficult to believe/understand all the things that come with such a diagnosis. Many people will begin to do research on the disorder and want to educate themselves so they can best help themselves or others. Often times it is difficult to face reality and many people are drawn into the world of autism cures; particularly if they have been diagnosed with mild autism. 

What is Mild Autism?

There is no real diagnosis named mild autism. Autism disorder is a spectrum, hence the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. There are some people who fall on the more severe side of the spectrum and have trouble with verbal communication or have aggressive behavioral tendencies. There are also those who fall on the less severe side of the spectrum. They may be able to verbally communicate, but still have problems with reading cues, vocal intonation, or body language. Those people who fall on the less severe side of the autism spectrum are sometimes mistakenly said to be mildly autistic. 

These individuals who have mild autism still have autism. They still have significant developmental and sensory challenges that are severe enough to inhibit normal activities and relationships. With an understanding of the definition of mild autism we are able to further explain the myths and problems with the treatment of mild autism as something that can be cured. 

Cures for Mild Autism 

Disrespectful Behavior Caused By Literal Thinking

Another autism behavior is literal thinking and fact consideration based upon their literal understanding.

You may have heard a conversation like this:

What do you mean we cant afford it? Go to the ATM and get the money! Oh, you dont have enough money in the bank? Then work more or tell your boss to pay you more!

They arent being ungrateful or disrespectful. Its simply how they view things due to their diagnosis.

Literal understanding:

A simple example would be the teacher telling the class to write your name at the top of the paper.

When your kiddo writes your name, they arent being sarcastic. Their literal thinking led to fact consideration based on their literal understanding. The teacher said Write your name

Heres a more complex, real life example.

John doesnt get along with one of his classmates. They get into an argument in class and both get sent to the principals office.

While in front of the principal, John calls the fellow student a stupid idiot. When the principal asks John why he said that, John replies, My mom told me to never lie.

He was simply telling the truth as he saw it. This is autism.

Getting An Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

The road to an ASD diagnosis can be difficult and time-consuming. In fact, it is often two to three years after the first symptoms of ASD are noticed before an official diagnosis is made. This is due in large part to concerns about labeling or incorrectly diagnosing the child. However, an ASD diagnosis can also be delayed if the doctor doesnt take a parents concerns seriously or if the family isnt referred to health care professionals who specialize in developmental disorders.

If youre worried that your child has ASD, its important to seek out a clinical diagnosis. But dont wait for that diagnosis to get your child into treatment. Early intervention during the preschool years will improve your childs chances for overcoming their developmental delays. So look into treatment options and try not to worry if youre still waiting on a definitive diagnosis. Putting a potential label on your kids problem is far less important than treating the symptoms.

Defining The Broad Autism Phenotype

Spaceship Max: What Does Autism SPECTRUM Mean Anyway?

What exactly is the BAP and how many parents and siblings of people with autism have it? Where are the lines that separate having a few mild personality quirks from having the Broader Autism Phenotype? That separate the BAP from having autism spectrum disorder itself?

Unfortunately, there are no bright lines, or easy answers. On one hand, some parents have recognized a kinship with their child with autism and sought an ASD diagnosis for themselves, according to anecdote. Milder forms of autism, such as Asperger’s Syndrome, may not have been recognized by doctors or teachers when they were children. On the other hand, most studies show that at least half of the relatives of someone with autism do not have measurable impairments in their social and communication skills or behavior.8, 9

What about those relatives who fall in between? Different studies have that shown that some parents or siblings have mildly impaired language and conversational skills, planning and memory skills, or social skills and relationships. Exactly how many of these mild impairments, or traits, do they need to have the Broader Autism Phenotype? That’s hard to say. For one thing, BAP is not a diagnosis. Your doctor won’t find it in the psychiatric diagnosis manual. “It’s a research construct” something used by scientists to identify a personality type when they investigate autism, said Sarika U. Peters Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University.

Being On The Spectrum Can Mean A Wide Variety Of Experiences

Autism is described as a spectrum of disorders for a reason. Signs of autism can present differently. 

Some individuals will have significant behavior and communication challenges that make the possibility of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis more likely. 

In other cases, caregivers may notice occasional atypical behaviors but that dont immediately cause them to seek a full behavioral health evaluation. 

In the latter scenario, a  child may never have their autism diagnosed or addressed therapeutically. Its possible that mildly-expressed forms of ASD behavior go completely unnoticed. 

But another possibility is that an  undiagnosed child or their caregiver will feel frustrated by a lack of explanation for certain behavioral events. They may struggle with socialization, for instance, or they may lack commitment to extracurricular activities.

Ignoring the possibility of an autism diagnosis, especially if a  child seems mostly neurotypical, can make it more difficult for them  to adjust and  have their needs met. For this reason, teachers and caregivers who observe subtle signs of ASD should speak with a mental health professional. 

A childs parents, teachers, and others with a direct role in their life are the best observers when it comes to picking up on a possible autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Only a licensed mental health professional can come to a full, accurate diagnosis, but you dont have to be a professional to suspect that an ASD diagnosis is possible.

Autism Symptoms In Adults At Work

Symptoms of ASD vary greatly from person to person based on the severity of the condition. These or similar manifestations of ASD may be apparent at work:

  • When youre having a conversation with your boss, you prefer to look at the wall, her shoes, or anywhere but directly into her eyes.
  • Your co-workers say that you speak like a robot.
  • Each item on your desk has a special place, and you dont like when the cleaning company rearranges it to dust.
  • You are really good at math, or software coding, but struggle to succeed in other areas.
  • You talk to your co-workers the same way you talk with your family and friends.
  • During meetings, you find yourself making involuntary noises, like clearing your throat over and over.
  • When talking with your boss, you have difficulty telling if he is happy with your performance or mad at you.

In addition, individuals with ASD may exhibit extraordinary talents in visual skills, music, math, and art. And roughly 40 percent of individuals with ASD have average or above-average intelligence.

If you experience these or similar symptoms of ASD, consult a doctor or mental-health professional for a formal autism evaluation and learn more about treatment options for autism symptoms in adults.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism is not a single disorder, but a spectrum of closely related disorders with a shared core of symptoms. Every individual on the autism spectrum has problems to some degree with social interaction, empathy, communication, and flexible behavior. But the level of disability and the combination of symptoms varies tremendously from person to person. In fact, two kids with the same diagnosis may look very different when it comes to their behaviors and abilities.

If youre a parent dealing with a child on the autism spectrum, you may hear many different terms including high-functioning autism, atypical autism, autism spectrum disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. These terms can be confusing, not only because there are so many, but because doctors, therapists, and other parents may use them in dissimilar ways.

But no matter what doctors, teachers, and other specialists call the autism spectrum disorder, its your childs unique needs that are truly important. No diagnostic label can tell you exactly what challenges your child will have. Finding treatment that addresses your childs needs, rather than focusing on what to call the problem, is the most helpful thing you can do. You dont need a diagnosis to start getting help for your childs symptoms.

Whats in a name?

Social Communication And Interaction Skills

What Does Autism Mean To You? OLD VERSION

Social communication and interaction skills can be challenging for people with ASD.

Examples of social communication and social interaction characteristics related to ASD can include:

  • Avoids or does not keep eye contact
  • Does not respond to name by 9 months of age
  • Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age
  • Does not play simple interactive games like pat-a-cake by 12 months of age
  • Uses few or no gestures by 12 months of age
  • Does not share interests with others
  • Does not point or look at what you point to by 18 months of age
  • Does not notice when others are hurt or sad by 24 months of age
  • Does not pretend in play
  • Shows little interest in peers
  • Has trouble understanding other peoples feelings or talking about own feelings at 36 months of age or older
  • Does not play games with turn taking by 60 months of 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.

Problems Processing Physical Sensations

Many individuals with autism have sensory difficulties. They may find specific noises, tastes, smells, or feelings intolerable. Noisy public places can lead to emotional distress, as can uncomfortable clothing or unwanted touches. These issues can be disruptive and stressful, but according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, autism symptoms can improve over time as children with mild autism learn to regulate their own behavior through work with professionals.

Understanding Differences In Moderate To Severe Autism

As the parent of a child with autism, identifying the differences between moderate to severe autism assists you in understanding your child and helping him or her achieve a quality of life and the highest possible level of independence possible.

Here are some of the differences in moderate to severe autism.

Autism Screening And Diagnosis

What Does High Functioning Autism Mean?

It can be hard to get a definite diagnosis of autism. Your doctor will focus on behavior and development.

For children, diagnosis usually takes two steps.

  • A developmental screening will tell your doctor whether your child is on track with basic skills like learning, speaking, behavior, and moving. Experts suggest that children be screened for these developmental delays during their regular checkups at 9 months, 18 months, and 24 or 30 months of age. Children are routinely checked specifically for autism at their 18-month and 24-month checkups.
  • If your child shows signs of a problem on these screenings, theyâll need a more complete evaluation. This might include hearing and vision tests or genetic tests. Your doctor might want to bring in someone who specializes in autism disorders, like a developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist. Some psychologists can also give a test called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule .

If you werenât diagnosed with autism as a child but notice yourself showing signs or symptoms, talk to your doctor.

Repetitive Or Restrictive Behaviors

An autistic child who has adopted certain repetitive or restrictive behaviors may exhibit some of these signs:

  • performs repetitive motions, such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth, or spinning
  • persistently or repeatedly lines up toys or other objects in an organized fashion
  • gets upset or frustrated by small changes in their daily routine
  • has to follow certain routines
  • plays with toys the same way every time
  • likes certain parts of objects
  • has obsessive interests

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.

Research On Sensory Integration Therapy

There have been many studies that have measured the effectiveness of sensory integration therapy for children with autism. Today, sensory integration therapy has become one of the most requested and utilized interventions for autism.

Ayres Sensory Integration therapy was developed to provide occupational therapists with a set of guidelines for how to provide consistent intervention. A review of studies that provided ASI therapy between 2006-2017 concluded that ASI is an effective intervention for the autistic population, especially those who are four12 years of age.

Can You Be A Little Bit Autistic

What does the Mental Health Act mean for autistic people?

editorial processMedical Review Board

It is not uncommon for people to ascribe certain behaviors or moods to medical conditions or suggest that they are driven by a diagnosable psychological disorder. Examples might include:

  • “Oh, I know I’m picky. I’m just a little obsessive-compulsive.”
  • “Yes, I’m moody. I guess I’m sort of bipolar.”
  • “I’m in a crappy mood. I think I’m depressed.”

All of these statements, which are used all the time, equate a passing mood or mild preference with a major mental illness.

But of course, picky eating is a far cry from obsessive-compulsive disorder , which can make it impossible to fulfill the demands of daily life. And, a passing feeling of unhappiness or moodiness can’t be compared in any meaningful way to the extreme challenges of bipolar disorder or clinical depression.

Some people may truly believe that spending 20 minutes choosing a color scheme for a party is akin to true OCD, or that a rotten mood is the same thing as major depression.

Others know better but will still use these terms as a colorful way to describe a passing emotion or a behavior that’s not quite appropriate. This has extended to behaviors that some have haphazardly labeled as “autistic” or being “on the spectrum.”

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 Symptoms Of Autism

Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are categorized into two general areas: 

Social communication 

  • Problems with social interaction and communication 
  • Inability to speak or understand 
  • Showing no interest in communicating
  • Difficulty with or lack of interaction with family and friends 
  • Difficulty learning to interact with others
  • Little or no interest in developing friendships
  • Children may play alone 
  • Lack of understanding of social conventions or needs of others
  • Lack of interest in sharing activities, interests, or achievements
  • Difficulty using and interpreting nonverbal behaviors such as eye contact, facial expression, gestures, and body postures
  • Babies may resist cuddling, avoid eye contact, or not spread arms in anticipation of being picked up

In patients who have mild autism social communication skills may be improved with support. Without supports in place, deficits in social communication can cause noticeable impairments.

Restricted and repetitive behavior, activities, and interests

In patients who have mild autism inflexibility of behavior can cause significant interference with functioning in one or more areas, such as problems with organization and planning. 

Other features of autism spectrum disorder include: 

  • Delayed or absent language skills
  • Ability to understand may also be impaired
  • Language is not used as a tool for communication
  • May have difficulty starting or sustaining a conversation 
  • Abnormally large head
    • Exposure to the drug valproate in utero 
    • Low birth weight

    The Autism Risk For Families With Certain Traits

    Looking at it from another angle, does the presence of a certain level of autistic traits in one or both parents increase the chances of having a child with autism?

    Yes, according to a research team that included psychiatrist John N. Constantino, the developer of a questionnaire for measuring autistic traits, the Social Responsiveness Scale. The risk of ASD in a child rose by 52 percent if one of his parents had a high score on the questionnaire, and by 85 percent if both parents had high scores.14

    The team found higher scores in both parents of children with autism more often than would be expected by chance alone. That points to the possible role of assortative mating. That’s a scientific way of saying people tend to choose partners who are like themselves, whether they are aloof or sociable. This study did not directly address whether the parents’ occupations had anything to do with this. Its data happened to be drawn from a huge study of U.S. nurses, a profession popularly believed to attract caring and empathetic people.

    Other Signs Of Autism

    high functioning autism Fitness
    • not understanding social “rules”, such as not talking over people
    • avoiding eye contact
    • getting too close to other people, or getting very upset if someone touches or gets too close to you
    • noticing small details, patterns, smells or sounds that others do not
    • having a very keen interest in certain subjects or activities
    • liking to plan things carefully before doing them

    People With Milder Forms Of Autism Struggle As Adults


    Blurred boundaries:

    Contrary to popular assumption, people diagnosed with so-called mild forms of autism dont fare any better in life than those with severe forms of the disorder. Thats the conclusion of a new study that suggests that even individuals with normal intelligence and language abilities struggle to fit into society because of their social and communication problems.

    In fact, people diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified are no more likely to marry or have a job than those with more disabling forms of autism, according to a Norwegian study published online in June in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

    Early intervention has the potential to alter this trajectory, say experts. But until todays children with autism reach maturity, it will be hard to say how much behavioral intervention at a young age can alter the course of their lives.

    The implication of our findings is that the consequences of having an autism spectrum disorder with profound difficulties in communication skills and social impairment cant be compensated for by either high intellectual level or normal language function, says lead investigator Anne Myhre, associate professor of mental health and addiction at the University of Oslo in Norway.

    Common Symptoms Of Autism

    Social interaction -or should we say the difficulty with social interaction- is often one of the first observations made by parents of autistic children.

    However, difficulty with nonverbal communication is also another one. The autistic child may also have limited interest in playing or other activities normally enjoyed by children. While the severity of these problems varies, depending on the level of autism, they occur with all types of autism, even those who are high functioning.

    One method of identifying difficulties with social interaction is to check the nonverbal communication. Often body posture or facial expressions dont match the message delivered by the autistic child or adult. Theres often either too prolonged eye-to-eye contact or none at all.

    The child or adult finds it difficult to establish friends of the same age and part of the reason is the lack of interest in other peoples activities, joys or achievements. In fact, many autistic children and adults seem to lack cognitive empathy for others when the person expresses emotions such as sorrow, pain or devastation. The lack of cognitive empathy is genuine since many autistic people often cant understand the depth of the other persons feelings.

    Symptoms of difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication may show up very early in life. There may be a delay in their ability to speak. For those with severe autism, as many of forty percent of the victims never learn speech.

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