Autism which is also known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurologic disorder which can lead to variations in communication, socialization and behaviour. The symptoms of the disorder can be quite different because the autistic individuals are not alike and require different support, autism community.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is an umbrella term that includes three distinct conditions which are no longer official diagnostics under the present Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Disorders of the Mind. Disorders (DSM-5):
- Autistic disorder
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder not specifically identified (PDD-NOS)
- Asperger syndrome
In the DSM-5 All diagnosis are classified under the umbrella term of ASD. ASD stages 1,2 and 3 are the levels of care an autistic person may require.
Which person has better likelihood of being diagnosed with autism?
Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the CDC estimates that about one in 54 trusted source youngsters across the United States had ASD in the year 2016. Autism spectrum disorders are common across all ethnic, racial and socioeconomic categories.
It was believed that it was around four times more frequent in males than females. However, the latest research has revealed that girls suffering from ASD tend to have different symptoms when as compared to boys, they might be overlooked.
Girls often hide their symptoms because of what’s known as ” camouflage effectTrusted Source.” This means that ASD might be more common among girls than was previously believed.
There’s no cure that’s been discovered for ASD The doctors aren’t able to pinpoint exactly what causes it, though we do know that genetics play a part. Many in the autistic community don’t believe that the need for a cure.
There are a myriad of factors that make children more likely to develop ASD which include biological, environmental, as well as genetic elements.
What is the signs that are characteristic of Autism?
The initial symptoms and signs of autism can vary. Certain children who have ASD have only mild signs but others are afflicted with serious behavioral problems.
Toddlers are usually interested in interacting with other children and the surroundings they are in. Parents are usually the first to realize the signs that their child may be showing unusual behavior.
Every child who is on the autism spectrum has challenges in the areas of:
- Communication (verbal and non-verbal)
- social interaction
- Repetitive or restricted behaviors
The initial signs and symptoms of ASD may be a result of the following:
- learning to speak late (such as not speaking before the age of one or not saying meaningful words at the age of 2)
- refraining from pointing at objects or people, or waving goodbye
- Not following people by their eyes
- in a state of non-responsiveness whenever their names are mentioned
- Not imitating facial expressions
- Do not reach out to be taken care of
- that run into or near walls
- seeking to be on your own or play the freedom to play by yourself
- Not playing games of make-believe or playing pretend games (e.g. feeding dolls)
- possessing an obsessional interest in specific subjects or objects
- repeated or reciting words as well as actions
- Inflicting injury on them
- that have temper anger and tantrums
- showing a high degree of sensitivity to how objects smell, taste or even taste
It’s important to keep in mind that showing any of these behaviors does not necessarily suggest that the child will (meet the requirements) be eligible to be given the ASD diagnosis.
They could also be related to other illnesses or be regarded as personality characteristics.
What is the process of diagnosing autism?
Doctors typically diagnose ASD during the first years of childhood. But, since the severity and symptoms vary widely the autism spectrum disorder may occasionally be hard to identify.
Certain individuals aren’t identified until the age of adulthood.
Presently, there’s no standard test to diagnose autism. Parents or a doctor could detect early signs for ASD in a child who is young but a diagnosis will have to be confirmed.
If the symptoms are consistent the team of experts and specialists typically make an officially-confirmed diagnosis for ASD. It could be psychologists or neuropsychologists as well as a developmental pediatrician neurologists, and/or psychiatrist.
Screening for developmental issues
From the moment your baby is born the doctor will monitor your child’s progress in developmental development at regular appointments and during routine appointments.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends standardized autism-specific screening tests between the ages of 18-24 months old in along with general developmental surveillance.
If you’re worried regarding your child’s growth Your doctor might recommend an expert, particularly in the case of a sibling or another family member is suffering from ASD.
The doctor will conduct tests, such as hearing tests to check for hearing loss or deafness to find out if there is any physical cause for the behaviors observed.
They’ll also utilize other autism-related screening tools like The modified checklist for Autism for Toddlers (M-CHAT).
The checklist is a current screening tool that parents can fill out. It allows parents to determine their child’s probability of being diagnosed with autism as moderate, low or high. The test is completely free and includes 20 questions.
If the test shows that your child is at an increased chance of developing ASD They’ll be given an additional comprehensive diagnosis.
If your child is considered to have an average risk, further questions could be required to aid in categorizing the results.
Comprehensive behavioral evaluation
The next step to take in the diagnosis of autism is a thorough neurologic and physical examination. This could require the assistance of a group of specialists. The experts could include:
- developmental pediatricians
- Child psychologists
- child neurologists
- Speech and Language Pathologists
- occupational therapy
The test may also comprise screening tools. There are numerous tools to screen for developmental disorders. No single tool can diagnose autism. A combination of a variety of tools is required to make a diagnosis of autism.
A few examples for the screening instruments are:
- Answers to Ages and Stages (ASQ)
- The Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised (ADI-R)
- Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
- Autism Spectrum Rating Scales (ASRS)
- Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)
- Screening for Pervasive Developmental Disorders Test – Stage 3.
- Parents”Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS)
- Gilliam Autism Rating Scale
- Testing Tool to Screen for Autism in Young Children and Toddlers (STAT)
- Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)
According to The CDC-Trusted Source The latest version of the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) additionally provides standardized criteria to determine the presence of ASD.
Although autism is believed as a genetic disease but genetic tests cannot determine or identify autism. There are numerous genetic factors and environmental triggers that contribute to ASD.
Certain laboratories are able to examine certain biomarkers that are believed to indicate for ASD. They search for the most well-known genetic causes,.
Atypical results in one of these tests indicates that genetics have played a role in the development of ASD.
A typical test result means that a particular genetic source has been eliminated and the reason for this is not yet known.