Wednesday, May 22, 2024

What’s The Difference Between Down Syndrome And Autism

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Can You Have Autistic Traits Without Being Autistic

What’s the difference between Autism & Down Syndrome?

Autistic people can also have neurotypical traits, which contribute to diversity within the spectrum. The desire for social interaction is a neurotypical trait that some autistic people have. I found this article when looking on the internet whether people who wre not autistic could have some autistic traits.

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Aspergers Vs Autism: What Are The Differences

Aspergers and autism are no longer considered separate diagnoses. People who may have previously received an Aspergers diagnosis instead now receive an autism diagnosis.

But many people who were diagnosed with Aspergers before the diagnostic criteria changed in 2013 are still perceived as having Aspergers.

And many people also consider Aspergers as part of their identity. This is especially considering the stigma that still surrounds autism diagnoses in many communities around the world.

Yet the only real difference between the two diagnoses is that people with Aspergers may be considered as having an easier time passing as neurotypical with only mild signs and symptoms that may resemble those of autism.

How Common Is It

Over the past 25 years, some dozen papers have reported cases of children and adults with Down syndrome and autism. There have also been some surveys in the UK and Sweden which suggest that about 5-7% of children with Down syndrome have autistic spectrum disorders. A recent study of a sample of young children in the USA found 2 children in a group of 20, giving a 10% incidence. These all suggest that the rate is considerably lower than the 16.7% that would be expected for children with IQs across the mild/moderate/severe range. In fact, it could be argued that children with Down syndrome have some inbuilt social strengths that reduce the likelihood of having autism despite their delayed language and intellectual development.

My wife Denise and I are parents of five children, three of whom have Down syndrome. Our middle child, Charlie , has dual diagnosis of Down syndrome/Autism. He clearly functions and learns at a different level than his siblings, who have âtypicalâ Down syndrome.Mike Allshouse

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Main Differences Between Autism And Down Syndrome

  • The main difference between autism and Down syndrome is that the former is a neurological condition, while the latter is a genetic condition. The former condition does not produce any discernable change in the physical features of the individual, however, the genetic mutation in the latter condition produces certain characteristic physical features in the individuals living with the condition.
  • The diagnostic timelines of each condition vary. While autism can be diagnosed in the early months of infancy, Down syndrome can be detected when the fetus is still inside the womb.
  • Autism causes severe developmental impairment in the individual such that the persons ability to communicate is gravely impacted. Conversely, Down syndrome is a genetic condition that results due to the presence of a 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome.
  • The causes of each condition are quite different. While the causes of autism are largely unknown, Down syndrome is caused due to the occurrence of an extra copy of the 21st chromosome in the fetus.
  • Autistic individuals perceive the world differently. Impairment of social cognition, communication, sensory sensitivity, etc. are common repercussions of the condition. Alternatively, Down syndrome causes growth delays in the individual. It also leads to the development of smaller facial features and learning disabilities.
  • Autism And Down Syndrome

    There is a difference between aspergers and autism ...

    Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento, Rovereto, Italy. The purpose of the present study was to analyze mother – child collaborative play in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders compared to children with Down Syndrome and typical developing children. Children with ASD are often described as having deficient play skills, particularly in symbolic fields. Caregiver involvement in child play activities increases the structural complexity of playing in both typically developing children and children with disabilities. Participants included 75 mothers and their children with ASD, with Down Syndrome and with typical development. Mother – child play sessions were analyzed using a coding system for exploratory and symbolic play. Results indicate that children with ASD show more exploratory play compared to children in other groups. No significant differences emerge between three groups for child symbolic play or for mother play. These findings are discussed in relation to debate about functional and symbolic play in children with ASD and in relation to the importance of setting and age for play assessment.

    * Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

    * Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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    Brain Chemistry And Asd

    The neurochemistry of autism is far from clear, and very likely involves several different chemical systems of the brain. This information provides the basis for medication trials to impact the way the brain works in order to elicit a change in behavior. An analysis of neurochemistry in children with ASD alone has consistently identified involvement of at least two systems.

    • Dopamine: regulates movement, posture, attention and reward behaviors
    • Serotonin: regulates mood, aggression, sleep and feeding behaviors

    Additionally, Opiates, which regulate mood, reward, responses to stress and perception of pain may also be involved in some children.

    Detailed studies of brain chemistry in children with DS-ASD have not yet been done. However, our clinical experience in using medications that modulate dopamine, serotonin or both systems has been favorable in some children with DS-ASD.

    Signs And Symptoms Vary

    Although we are documenting some similarities in the way DS-ASD presents, autism is what is considered a spectrum disorder. This means every child with DS-ASD will be different in one way or another. Some will have speech, some will not. Some will rely heavily on routine and order, and others will be more easy-going. Combined with the wide range of abilities seen in Down syndrome alone, it can feel mystifying. It is easier if you have an understanding of ASD disorders separate from Down syndrome.

    Autism, autistic-like condition, autistic-spectrum disorder and pervasive developmental disorder are terms that mean the same thing, more or less. They all refer to a neurobehavioral syndrome diagnosed by the appearance of specific symptoms and developmental delays early in life. These symptoms result from an underlying disorder of the brain, which may have multiple causes, including Down syndrome. At this time, there is some disagreement in the medical community regarding the specific evaluations necessary to identify the syndrome or the degree to which certain “core-features” must be present to establish the diagnosis of ASD in a child with Down syndrome. Unfortunately, the lack of specific diagnostic tests creates considerable confusion for professionals, parents and others trying to understand the child and develop an optimal medical care and effective educational program.

    There is general agreement that:

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    About Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Not all autistic children exhibit the same signs of autism or experience these signs to the same degree.

    Thats why autism is considered to be on a spectrum. Theres a wide range of behaviors and experiences that are considered to fall under the umbrella of an autism diagnosis.

    Heres a brief overview of behaviors that may cause someone to be diagnosed with autism:

    • differences in processing sensory experiences, like touch or sound, from those who are considered neurotypical
    • differences in learning styles and problem-solving approaches, like quickly learning complex or difficult topics but having difficulty mastering physical tasks or conversational turn-taking
    • deep, sustained special interests in specific topics
    • repetitive movements or behaviors , like flapping hands or rocking back and forth
    • strong desire to maintain routines or establishing order, like following the same schedule each day or organizing personal belongings a certain way
    • difficulty processing and producing verbal or nonverbal communication, like having trouble expressing thoughts in words or displaying emotions outwardly
    • difficulty processing or participating in neurotypical social interactive contexts, like by greeting someone back whos greeted them

    What Is Chronic Daily Headache Syndrome

    Difference between Autism and Down Syndrome

    Chronic daily headache refers to headaches of almost any type that occur very frequently, generally at least 15 days per month for a period of six months or more. Chronic migraine is diagnosed when headache occurs greater than 15 days per month and migraine or pain killer use occurs at least eight of those days.

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    Symptoms Of Autism And Mental Retardation

    Autism: Autistic infants show less attention to social stimuli, smile and look at others less often, and respond less to their own name. They have less eye contact and do not have the ability to use simple movements to express themselves, such as pointing at things. They make a repetitive movement, such as hand flapping, head rolling, or body rocking and they intended and appears to follow rules, such as arranging objects in stacks or lines. They also have very limited focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program, toy or game.

    18 month old boy with autism, obsessively stacking cans

    Mental Retardation: Patients with mental retardation have delay in oral language development, deficits in memory skills, difficulty in learning social rules, difficulty with problem-solving skills, delays in the development of adaptive behaviors such as self-help or self-care skills and lack of social inhibition.

    Brain Development And Asd

    The development of the brain and how it functions is different in some way in children with DS-ASD than their peers with Down syndrome. Characterizing and recording these differences in brain development through detailed evaluation of both groups of children will provide a better understanding of the situation and possible treatments for children with DS-ASD.

    A detailed analysis of the brain performed at autopsy or with magnetic resonance imaging in children with autism shows involvement of several different regions of the brain:

    • The limbic system, which is important for regulating emotional response, mood and memory,
    • The temporal lobes, which are important for hearing and normal processing of sounds,
    • The cerebellum, which coordinates motor movements and some cognitive operations, and
    • The corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres of the cortex together.

    At Kennedy Krieger Institute, we have conducted MRI studies of 25 children with DS-ASD. The preliminary results support the notion that the cerebellum and corpus callosum is different in appearance in these children compared to those with Down syndrome alone. We are presently evaluating other areas of the brain, including the limbic system and all major cortical subregions, to look for additional markers that will distinguish children with DS-ASD from their peers with Down syndrome alone.

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    Obstacles To Diagnosing Ds

    “If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck…guess what?”

    Parents sometimes face unnecessary obstacles in seeking help for their children. Parents have shared several reasons demonstrating this. Some of the more common include:

    Failure to recognize the dual diagnosis:


    Failure to recognize the dual diagnosis except in the most severe cases.


    This is frustrating for everyone who is actively seeking solutions for a child. If you are in this situation and feel that your concerns are not taken seriously, keep trying. The best advice is to trust your gut feeling regarding your child. Eventually you will find someone willing to look at all the possibilities with you.

    Diagnostic confusion:

    Diagnostic confusion with other behavioral or psychiatric conditions such as ADHD, OCD or depression.


    Lack of acceptance by professionals regarding the possibility of a dual diagnosis for anyone with Down syndrome:


    There is sometimes a lack of acceptance by professionals that ASD can co-exist in a child with Down syndrome who has cognitive impairment. They may feel an additional label is not necessary or accurate. Parents may be told, “This is part of ‘low functioning’ Down syndrome.” We now know this is incorrect. Children with DS-ASD are clearly distinguishable from children with Down syndrome alone or those who have Down syndrome and severe cognitive impairment when standardized diagnostic assessment tools such as the ABC are used.



    Testing For Known Genetic Causes Of Asd

    Letter to People Campaigning for Disability Acceptance ...

    Though blood tests are not part of an ASD diagnosis, they can and do come into play to rule out known genetic causes . Having a genetic diagnosis in addition to an ASD diagnosis can help families in several waysmost notably, it can alert them to other potential conditions, including FXS.

    Autism and FXS are often diagnosed separately, with many children diagnosed with autism before they are diagnosed with FXS. According to one study, it is naïve and counterproductive to assume that autism is the same in FXS as it is in autism alone, or that the same treatments will work in both cases. In other words: A child diagnosed with ASD would ideally be undergoing treatment for their autism. But if they also have undiagnosed FXS, that treatment would not take their FXS into account. For example, an impairment in social interaction is one of the core characterizations of autism. But since many children with FXS are interested in social interactions, treatments for ASD that focus on the social aspect, may not be productive in the overall care for those with FXS+ASD.

    Because of the link between autism and FXS, pediatrician and Fragile X expert Dr. Randi Hagerman recommends that children diagnosed with autism receive a genetic evaluation and testing for FXS and other genetic causes.

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    What Treatments Are Effective For Autistic Children

    To diagnose autism in children with a learning disability you need:
  • A detailed assessment of cognitive level and of receptive and expressive language abilities
  • A developmental history covering progress from infancy onwards, preferably obtained with a standardised interview such as the Autism Diagnostic Interview
  • Observations of the child in both structured and non-structured settings (again a standardised instrument such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Generic can be very informative
  • Routine screening for medical/genetic conditions
  • Consideration of other relevant psychosocial factors
  • Guidelines from Patricia Howlin 2000

    Despite the fact that the number of children with autism in the general population is increasing and that people have been looking for effective treatments for more than 20 years, there is no evidence that any treatment can âcureâ the underlying cause of the social impairment. There is some evidence that educational and management strategies may help children to progress, to adapt to their difficulties and to reduce the incidence of behavior difficulties that they may show. The advice of Pat Howlin, based on many years of work in this field, is again a good starting point

    In order of priority, the key messages for families are

  • Develop a daily routine and a visual timetable to provide a structure, to allow the child to anticipate what is to be expected, and to reduce anxiety
  • As part of the daily routines, set clear expectations for behavior
  • Are Autism And Down Syndrome The Same

    Autism and Down syndrome are different syndromes that contain similarities and differences. Functionality in both syndromes is present in other situations, including relevant delays, differences in the degree of impairment, situations in which the intellectual disabilities play a leading role, as well as when examined in detail. Although autism and Down syndrome are often seen as the same diseases, the only difference between the two diseases is the mothers who have these children. The difference between autism and down syndrome continues to be the subject of various investigations.

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    What Is The Behavior Of Down Syndrome

    The most common mental health concerns include: general anxiety, repetitive and obsessive-compulsive behaviors oppositional, impulsive, and inattentive behaviors sleep related difficulties depression autism spectrum conditions and neuropsychological problems characterized by progressive loss of cognitive skills.

    What Conclusions Can We Draw

    Down Syndrome Answers: Is Down syndrome the same as autism?
    ICD-10 criteria for a diagnosis of autism

    A. Abnormal or impaired development is evident before the age of 3 years in at least one of the following areas:

    receptive or expressive language as used in social communication

    development of selective social attachments or of reciprocal social interaction

    functional or symbolic play

    B. A total of at least six symptoms from , and must be present, with at least two from and at least one from each of and :

    Qualitative abnormalities in reciprocal social interaction are manifest in at least two of the following areas.

    failure adequately to use eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gesture to regulate social interaction

    failure to develop peer relationships that involve mutual interests, activities and emotions

    lack of socio-emotional reciprocity as shown by an impaired or deviant response to other people’s emotions or lack of modulation of behavior according to social context or a weak integration of social, emotional, and communicative behaviors

    lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people .

    Qualitative abnormalities in communication are manifest in at least one of the following areas:

    delay in, or total lack of, development of spoken language that is not accompanied by an attempt to compensate using gesture or mime as an alternative mode of communication

    stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic use of words or phrases

    Reprinted with permission

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    A Few Differences Between Autism And Down Syndrome

    Some of the main differences between Down syndrome and autism include:

    • Looks
    • Intellectual disability
    • Body language

    Looks: People with Down syndrome look different. You can almost always tell at a glance. Meanwhile, autistic people look like everyone else.

    Intellect: Almost all people with Down syndrome have an intellectual disability. Thus, things like counting change, reading large books, and understanding the world are harder. Meanwhile, autism doesnt lower your IQ. Autistic people can have any level of intelligence.

    Body language: Down syndrome doesnt change body language. Autistic people tend to fidget and avoid eye contact. This helps them feel better, so dont tell them to stop.

    Of course, you cant always tell. For example, if someone has mosaic Down syndrome, then some of their cells have Down syndrome and some dont. That means the signs might be subtler. Autistic people can also mask or hide their natural behavior. However, this is bad for their mental health.

    These signs are there, whether theyre obvious or not. If someone is open about it, then it means they trust you with who they are.

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