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What Is A Simple Definition Of Autism

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What Is It Like To Be Autistic

what is autism in simple terms

In case you are wondering if your child may have;autism, the following most common signs of autism could be a good signal. Typically children diagnosed with;autism spectrum are:

  • Likely to be oversensitive by sight, sounds, and smell and touching which are normal for everyone else
  • Likely to exhibit repetitive body movements, like rocking to & fro and making unusual finger movements in front of his/her eyes
  • Likely to display strong attachments to certain objects around them
  • Likely to get confused by changes in daily routines, often resorting to aggressive behavior
  • Likely to observe even small changes in the people or their surroundings

If you observe any of these characteristics of autism in your childs behavior, please visit our Autism Test Online section for a detailed evaluation of your child

How Has Our Understanding Of Asperger Syndrome Evolved

1944: Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger described four strikingly similar young patients. They had normal to high intelligence. But they lacked social skills and had extremely narrow interests. The children also shared a tendency to be clumsy.

1981: British psychiatrist Lorna Wing published a series of similar case studies. In it, she coined the term Asperger syndrome.

1994: Asperger syndrome listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders .

2013: Asperger syndrome and other previously separate types of autism folded into one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in DSM-5.

Defining Autism: Variability In State Education Agency Definitions Of And Evaluations For Autism Spectrum Disorders

Malinda L. Pennington

1Special Education, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education, NC State University, Poe Hall 602, Campus Box 7801, Raleigh, NC 27695-7801, USA

2North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA

Abstract

In light of the steady rise in the prevalence of students with autism, this study examined the definition of autism published by state education agencies , as well as SEA-indicated evaluation procedures for determining student qualification for autism. We compared components of each SEA definition to aspects of autism from two authoritative sources: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act . We also compared SEA-indicated evaluation procedures across SEAs to evaluation procedures noted in IDEA-2004. Results indicated that many more SEA definitions incorporate IDEA-2004 features than DSM-IV-TR features. However, despite similar foundations, SEA definitions of autism displayed considerable variability. Evaluation procedures were found to vary even more across SEAs. Moreover, within any particular SEA there often was little concordance between the definition and evaluation procedures . Recommendations for state and federal policy changes are discussed.

1. Introduction

2. Method

2.1. Data Collection
2.2. Coding SEA Definition Components
2.3. Coding Evaluation Features
2.4. Coding Agreement

3. Results

3.1. Basis of Definitions

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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

Where Can I Get More Information

Autism Presentation

For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

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Autistic People May Act In A Different Way To Other People

Autistic people may:

  • find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
  • find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
  • find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
  • get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
  • take longer to understand information
  • do or think the same things over and over

If you think you or your child may be autistic, get advice about the signs of autism.

What Is The Dsm

Diagnostic criteria

The definition of ASD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition encompasses the previous manual’s autistic disorder , Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. ASD is characterized by the following:

  • Deficits in social communication and social interaction

  • Restricted repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities

These symptoms are present from early childhood and limit or impair everyday functioning. Both components are required for diagnosis of ASD.

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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability;that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.

A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified , and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder.

What Are The Different Types Of Autism

Struggling through Autism #2 Definition 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.

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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.

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.

Recommended Reading: Life Expectancy For Someone With Asperger\’s Syndrome

Simple Definition Of Autism

We know that you are busy and since we are pioneers in autism and aspergers understanding as well as an autism-led organisation, we cannot tell you everything we know about autism on this page.

Think about every single human trait or sense. From hearing and smell , to attention span and problem-solving skills .

Even the most obscure traits such as facial recognition skills , the ability to understand animal behaviour and being able to sense when there is going to be a storm vs being surprised when it suddenly starts to rain.;

All these traits are found in the general population and most people have certain traits to a certain extent, therefore falling within a general range of normal. For example, most of the population are ok at problem solving, ok at recognising faces and relatively ok at sensing the changes in weather.

However, everybody is quirky.

This means that everybody in the world will have the odd few traits or senses which you just cannot rely on, or instead are well over-developed.

How Is Autism Treated

Autism Spectrum Disorder Definition

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.

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Restricted Or Repetitive Patterns Of Behavior Or Activities

These can include:

Autistic people are evaluated within each category, and the intensity of their symptoms is noted.

To receive an autism diagnosis, a person must display all three symptoms in the first category and at least two symptoms in the second category. Get more information on symptoms and how they may manifest in kids.

The exact cause of ASD is unknown. The most current research demonstrates theres no single cause.

Some suspected risk factors for ASD include:

  • having an immediate family member whos autistic
  • genetic mutations

An ASD diagnosis involves several screenings, genetic tests, and evaluations.

Autism Borderline Or High Functioning Types

Usually, a lesser form of the autism syndrome is called borderline;Autism. A child diagnosed with borderline or mild autism displays many of the symptoms, though not at a similar frequency or severity. Borderline Autism symptoms include the inability to adapt or make transitions easily, mild lack of social as well as language skills, developmental and sensory issues. They may have a hard time showing empathy for another person or know how to regulate their own emotions. Just as any diagnosis on the autism spectrum; tests, screening, and observation will need to be conducted.

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How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated

There is no cure for autism, but treatment can make a big difference. The younger kids are when they start treatment, the better.

Doctors, therapists, and special education teachers can help kids learn to talk, play, and learn. Therapists also help kids learn about making friends, taking turns, and getting along.

Restricted Behavior And Play

Autism Explained for Kids

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are often restricted, rigid, and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests. Symptoms may include:

  • Repetitive body movements ; moving constantly.
  • Obsessive attachment to unusual objects .
  • Preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest, sometimes involving numbers or symbols .
  • A strong need for sameness, order, and routines . Gets upset by change in their routine or environment.
  • Clumsiness, atypical posture, or odd ways of moving.
  • Fascinated by spinning objects, moving pieces, or parts of toys .
  • Hyper- or hypo-reactive to sensory input .

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Autism Where Is It Heading

To conclude,;over time, the definition of autism has changed from being one disorder to a spectrum of tens of disorders with overlapping symptoms. With intensive research and serious funds being propelled into Autism development, a lot has been achieved in the recent past and the future looks really bright for autism treatment.

How Is Asd Diagnosed

ASD symptoms can vary greatly from person to person depending on the severity of the disorder. Symptoms may even go unrecognized for young children who have mild ASD or less debilitating handicaps.

Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed by clinicians based on symptoms, signs, and testing according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V, a guide created by the American Psychiatric Association used to diagnose mental disorders. Children should be screened for developmental delays during periodic checkups and specifically for autism at 18- and 24-month well-child visits.

Very early indicators that require evaluation by an expert include:

  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no single words by age 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
  • no response to name
  • excessive lining up of toys or objects
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

Later indicators include:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
  • absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
  • repetitive or unusual use of language
  • abnormally intense or focused interest
  • preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
  • inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals

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Related Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

While not part of autisms official diagnostic criteria, children with autism spectrum disorders often suffer from one or more of the following problems:

Sensory problems Many children with autism spectrum disorders either underreact or overreact to sensory stimuli. At times they may ignore people speaking to them, even to the point of appearing deaf. However, at other times they may be disturbed by even the softest sounds. Sudden noises such as a ringing telephone can be upsetting, and they may respond by covering their ears and making repetitive noises to drown out the offending sound. Children on the autism spectrum also tend to be highly sensitive to touch and to texture. They may cringe at a pat on the back or the feel of certain fabric against their skin.

Emotional difficulties Children with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions or expressing them appropriately. For instance, your child may start to yell, cry, or laugh hysterically for no apparent reason. When stressed, they may exhibit disruptive or even aggressive behavior . The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities also notes that kids with ASD may be unfazed by real dangers like moving vehicles or heights, yet be terrified of harmless objects such as a stuffed animal.

Savant skills in autism spectrum disorder

Types Of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Spaceship Max: What Does Autism SPECTRUM Mean Anyway?

Over the past years, individuals have been using the terms “autism” and “autism spectrum disorder” like they mean the same thing. Autism is a spectrum disorder. This means that some people who have autism are only mildly affected. These people may go to regular schools, go to work, and have partners and families. Some people are affected worse than others. These people may be able to take care of most of their own needs at home like dressing and getting food, but not be able to have a regular job or travel alone. A person who has severe autism may need to be cared for all their life. Few people with autism are extraordinarily gifted or talented. These people are said to have savant syndrome. They are often very good at just one thing in particular, like mathematics, playing the piano or remembering football scores.

The overall category of the Autism Spectrum Disorder is called Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The name describes medical conditions with developmental problems in a number of fields. In most cases, when referring to the Autism Spectrum Disorder, we are referring to the most common disorders:

Type of Autism
Is affected Is affected

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Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder

In order to determine whether your child has autism spectrum disorder or another developmental condition, clinicians look carefully at the way your child interacts with others, communicates, and behaves. Diagnosis is based on the patterns of behavior that are revealed.

If you are concerned that your child has autism spectrum disorder and developmental screening confirms the risk, ask your family doctor or pediatrician to refer you immediately to an autism specialist or team of specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. Since the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is complicated, it is essential that you meet with experts who have training and experience in this highly specialized area.

The team of specialists involved in diagnosing your child may include:

  • Child psychologists
  • Physical therapists
  • Special education teachers
  • Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a brief process. There is no single medical test that can diagnose it definitively; instead, in order to accurately pinpoint your childs problem, multiple evaluations and tests may be necessary.

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