Myth: People With Autism Can’t Feel Or Express Emotion Or Understand The Emotions Of Others
Truth: People on the spectrum enjoy a wide range of emotions like neurotypical people, but they often express their emotions in different ways. Although some people with autism may have trouble deciphering unspoken communication or tones of voice, the majority can feel empathy when someone clearly expresses their emotions.
How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed
There are no laboratory tests to determine ASD. However, certain healthcare providers receive specific training and can do screenings and evaluations if needed and who might ask parents or teachers to record observations. These providers might include specialized physicians, psychologists and speech-language pathologists.
Is Adhd A Form Of Retardation
Then, is ADHD a form of autism?
The symptoms of autism spectrum disorders and ADHD overlap. Most children on the autism spectrum have symptoms of ADHD difficulty settling down, social awkwardness, the ability to focus only on things that interest them, and impulsivity. ADHD itself, however, is not part of the autism spectrum.
Subsequently, question is, what is ADHD classified as? ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is classified as a psychiatric disorder and the symptoms often continue through adolescence into adulthood.
Then, is ADHD considered a mental illness?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a mental illness that affects the way you act and focus. ADHD is usually diagnosed in school-aged children, but it can continue to cause problems into adulthood. About two-thirds of people living with ADHD continue to experience symptoms as an adult.
Do people with ADHD have a lower IQ?
Although, on average, ADHD people have IQ scores that are about 9 points lower than others, there is a wide spread of IQs in both ADHD and non-ADHD people. So many people with ADHD have higher IQs than those without ADHD and vice-versa.
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Common Conditions Among People With Autism
While many people with autism are misdiagnosed with other types of mental illness, many are also appropriately diagnosed with both autism and mental illness. In fact, mental illness is more common among people with autism than it is among the general population.
The most common co-occurring mental illnesses for people with autism include depression and anxiety.
It’s not completely clear why this may be the case. One theory suggests that there is a genetic link between autism and mental illness. Another theory points to the extreme challenges of living in the modern world with autism. The fact is that for many people with autism, it is anxiety-provoking and depressing to attempt to overcome social, sensory, and/or intellectual challenges that are simply part of who they are.
In addition to mental illness, many children and adults with autism receive additional developmental diagnoses. While it can be argued in many cases that the symptoms are associated with autism, it is sometimes helpful to know that a child is both autistic and, for example, diagnosable with ADHD, learning disabilities, hyperlexia, Savant Syndrome, or another disorder.
A secondary diagnosis, while it may or may not be completely appropriate, can sometimes provide direction for therapy, academic support, and services. Hopefully, in doing so, this could correct any potential misdiagnoses moving forward.
Main Differences Between Autism And Mental Retardation
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Mental Retardation Or Intellectual Disability
Mental retardation, also known as intellectual disability, is a type of developmental disability that produces significant limitations in intellectual functioning ability and adaptive behaviors. These limitations result in problems with reasoning, learning or problem-solving as well as communication and social skills difficulties.
Types Causes And Symptoms Of Mental Illness
Over 200 different forms of mental illness have been classified to date. Anxiety disorders, major depression, and ADHD are among the most common mental illnesses that occur in people with autism spectrum disorder.
In general, mental illness is believed to be caused by a range of factors, including:
Genetic traits: Mental illness is more common in people who have blood relatives with a mental disorder.
Environmental exposures: Being in the womb, including toxins, stressors, and inflammatory conditions.
Brain chemistry: Brain chemicals govern mood and emotion, and when the production of neurotransmitters or the function of nerve receptors change, mental illness often occurs.
Environmental factors: Stress, drug or alcohol abuse, and trauma commonly lead to mental illness.
While each type of mental illness has its own specific set of signs and symptoms, general signs and symptoms of mental illness, include:
Feelings of sadness
Changes in eathing or sleeping habits or sex drive
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Tips For Parents And Caregivers
Parents and caregivers who think that their child may have intellectual disability should talk with their childs doctor or nurse as soon as possible. Receiving early, ongoing intervention is very important in ensuring that someone with this condition can reach their full potential.
If the doctor suspects intellectual disability or the child continues to experience symptoms, they should visit a pediatrician who specializes in diagnosing developmental conditions.
To find local specialists, .
Other tips for parents and caregivers include the following:
What Is Mental Retardation
Three criteria must be met for a diagnosis of mental retardation orintellectual disability: deficits in general mental abilities, significant limitations in one or more areas of adaptive behavior across multiple environments , and evidence that the limitations became apparent in childhood or adolescence. In general, people with intellectual disability have an IQ below 70, but clinical discretion may be necessary for individuals who have a somewhat higher IQ but severe impairment in adaptive functioning.
Down syndrome is one of the common genetic causes of intellectual disability
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Diagnosing Asd In The Context Of Id
Diagnosing mental conditions in individuals with ID presents challenges in general. For this reason, a separate diagnostic manual has been created to provide guidance about when DSM-5 criteria should be modified for the ID population . The Diagnostic Manual-Intellectual Disability-2 highlights complexities in distinguishing ASD in individuals with ID, but does not indicate any adaptations for the ASD diagnostic criteria beyond utilizing the DSM-5 requirement that deficits exceed impairment consistent with the level of intellectual disability . Similarly, Criterion E of the DSM-5 ASD criteria requires that disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability or global developmental delay , though it does not specify how this should be determined. Thus, neither manual gives instructions about how or when ID may or may not explain symptoms of ASD. In addition, as discussed later, the ability to make such determinations may depend on the severity of ID and the age of the individual, as certain distinctions may be increasingly challenging at more severe levels of ID and/or at certain ages/developmental periods.
Why Children Are Misdiagnosed
Autism is not always a child’s first diagnosis, particularly if he or she is verbal and of average intelligence. Not infrequently, children who wind up with an autism diagnosis receive a range of other diagnoses firstincluding, in some cases, other types of mental disorders.
There is a simple reason for these misdiagnoses: a child who is bright and verbal may not be evaluated for autism. As a result, the child’s symptoms are viewed not as a set of related challenges, but as individual issues that could potentially be signs of another mental illness. There are a number of behaviors in autism and other mental illnesses that may share characteristics and lead to an erroneous diagnosis.
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How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated
ASD is most often a life-long condition. Both children and adults with autism benefit from behavioral interventions or therapies that can teach new skills to address the core deficits of autism and to reduce the core symptoms. Every child and adult with autism is unique. For this reason, the treatment plan is individualized to meet specific needs. It is best to begin interventions as soon as possible, so the benefits of therapy can continue on throughout the course of life.
Many people with ASD often have additional medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal and feeding issues, seizures and sleep disturbances. Treatment can involve behavioral therapy, medications or both.
Early intensive behavioral treatments involves the entire family and possibly a team of professionals. As your child ages and develops, treatment may be modified to cater to their specific needs.
During adolescence, children benefit from transition services that promote skills of independence essential in adulthood. The focus at that point is on employment opportunities and job skill training.
Limitations In More Than One Area
Adaptive behavior, or adaptive functioning, refers to the skills needed to live independently . To assess adaptive behavior, professionals compare the functional abilities of a child to those of other children of similar age. To measure adaptive behavior, professionals use structured interviews, with which they systematically elicit information about persons’ functioning in the community from people who know them well. There are many adaptive behavior scales, and accurate assessment of the quality of someone’s adaptive behavior requires clinical judgment as well. Certain skills are important to adaptive behavior, such as:
- Daily living skills, such as getting dressed, using the bathroom, and feeding oneself
- Communication skills, such as understanding what is said and being able to answer
- Social skills with peers, family members, spouses, adults, and others
Other specific skills can be critical to an individual’s inclusion in the community and to develop appropriate social behaviors, as for example being aware of the different social expectations linked to the principal lifespan stages . The results of a Swiss study suggest that the performance of adults with ID in recognizing different lifespan stages is related to specific cognitive abilities and to the type of material used to test this performance.
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Signs Of Mental Retardation
Usually, the more severe the degree of intellectual disability, the earlier the signs can be noticed. However, it might still be hard to tell how young children will be affected later in life.
There are many signs of intellectual disability. For example, children with intellectual disability may:
- sit up, crawl, or walk later than other children
- learn to talk later, or have trouble speaking
- find it hard to remember things
- have trouble understanding social rules
- have trouble seeing the results of their actions
- have trouble solving problems
- have trouble thinking logically.
Myth: People With Autism Have Amazing Counting Skills
Truth: Some people who have autism have savant skills, such as being able to recite the phone book or calculate complicated mathematical problems in their head. But most dont, although many people with autism have impressive strengths, such as a good visual memory, that help them get by in the world.
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What Are The Different Types Of Mental Retardation Syndromes
There are a few different types of mental retardation syndromes that can affect people, of which Down syndrome and autism are some of the most commonly known. Mycrocephaly and cretinism are some forms of mental retardation that are caused by underdevelopment of the brain.
Down syndrome is the most common genetic condition in the U.S. Roughly one in every 691 babies in the U.S. is born with the syndrome. The syndrome is genetic and occurs when the individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21. This genetic condition results in developmental problems in the brain. Down syndrome is easily identified by abnormal facial features such as a flat nose, thick eyelids, and large ears, among others.
Autism is among the most enigmatic of the different types of mental retardation syndromes. Autism seems to affect people in very different ways. Research has brought some understanding of this disorder, but there is still much to learn about the brain function of people with autism. It is understood that people with autism think differently than those with normal brains, which diminishes the social interactive abilities, but also sometimes increases abilities in areas like math. Verbal skills are typically underdeveloped, and eye contact is rare in people with this disorder.
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Application Of Criterion E: Clinical Guidelines
Best practice clearly encourages clinical judgment over prescriptive algorithms for the differentiation of ASD and ID at various chronological and mental age levels. Nevertheless, the following guidelines may be helpful to consider:
d) In the case of older individuals, the developmental trajectory may be particularly useful. Specifically, the clinician should consider whether social communication delays have always been approximately commensurate with other domains of development, or whether social communication delays have at times been an isolated or more significant impairment. It is also important for clinicians to consider that ASD diagnostic status may change. For example, as noted above, it may not be possible to judge the presence of ASD in a child with very significant ID until he/she attains a certain mental age equivalent. On the other hand, in cases of mild to moderate ID, clinicians must be careful when assigning ASD diagnoses in later childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. It is unlikely for any individual to suddenly manifest social communication deficits and repetitive behaviors beyond the early childhood period that warrant an ASD diagnosis. In cases when ASD is suddenly being considered in an older individual with ID, the clinician must carefully consider whether observed social communication difficulties are simply a reflection of social immaturity attributable to their ID or potentially changes in mental state in reaction to life transitions .
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Asd Diagnostic Assessment Of Individuals With Id
When considering if and how to make a diagnosis of ASD in an individual with ID, it is imperative that severity of ID be considered carefully. The mental age associated with ID in the severe to profound range of ID may not exceed 18 months, an age before which it may not be possible to assess certain abilities . Thus, while there is no agreed-upon mental age that automatically triggers the exception described in the DSM-5 criterion E that disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability or global developmental delay , diagnosticians need to keep in mind the possibility that severe ID might prevent valid assessment of certain ASD symptoms.
A common approach in research has been to proceed with an abundance of caution by restricting the participation of individuals with ID, although this reduces the generalizability of results. However, research on genetic syndromes cannot realistically employ mental age cutoffs for inclusion. They can employ minimum mental age cutoffs for individuals they deem capable of completing ASD diagnostic instruments, and apply even more stringent thresholds regarding whether scores from diagnostic instruments should be considered valid , but these practices have not been consistently adopted up to this point.
What Happens If Adhd Is Left Untreated
For adults, untreated ADHD also affects job performance and lifetime earnings, marital satisfaction, and likelihood of divorce. Thats because untreated kids sometimes dont learn impulse control, emotional regulation, and social skills. As adults, they can sometimes fall behind the curve and dont always catch up.
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What Is The Outlook For People With Autism Spectrum Disorder
In many cases, the symptoms of ASD become less pronounced as a child gets older. Parents of children with ASD may need to be flexible and ready to adjust treatment as needed for their child.
People with ASD may go on to live typical lives, but there is often need for continued services and support as they age. The needs depend on the severity of the symptoms. For most, it’s a lifelong condition that may require ongoing supports.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Through research, there has been much that has been learned about autism spectrum disorder over the past 20 years. There is ongoing active research on the causes of ASD, early detection and diagnosis, prevention and treatments.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/29/2020.
Treatment Of Autism And Mental Retardation
Autism: For autism, early speech or behavioral interventions can help children with autism gain self-care, social, and communication skills. However, there is no known cure.
Mental Retardation: Currently, there is no cure for an established mental disability, though, with appropriate support and teaching, most individuals can learn to do many things.
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Correlations Between Background Parenting And Attachment Variables
The correlations between the variables are presented in Table 2. From Table 2 it can be concluded that higher socio-economic status was associated with higher age of parents, lower child age, and more social support. Older children showed less attachment security. The parents of more securely attached children reported fewer daily hassles. Higher parental efficacy was associated with a more authoritative parenting style, fewer daily hassles, and fewer psychological problems. Lastly, less social support was associated with more parenting daily hassles and more psychological problems. The same trends were observed in the subgroup of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder .
Table 2 Correlations between predictors for the total sample and the group of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Second, discriminant function analysis was performed predicting the membership of the Autism Spectrum Disorder group versus the non-clinical comparison group. The predictors were again the five parenting variables and the BASQ attachment security. Similarly, one discriminant function was calculated, 2 =24.12, p< 0.01. Two significant predictors could be extracted. The BASQ attachment security and authoritative parenting were significant predictors for distinguishing between the Autism Spectrum Disorder group and the non-clinical comparison group. Comparison children were more secure, and their parents were more authoritative.