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Autism Spectrum Disorder: Types, Symptoms and Causes.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a diverse group of conditions characterized by significant difficulty with social interaction and communication. Individuals with ASD often exhibit other atypical behaviours and activities, such as difficulty in transitioning from one pattern to another. Autism is typically diagnosed in childhood, and some cases are identified in later life.

Data shows that 1% out of every 100 are affected by ASD. This is due to environmental factors or genetic factors. Symptoms may vary depending upon several factors, change & intensify with time. People with autism require accessible healthcare services for general healthcare needs.

Five Types of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Five different types of ASDS were once used to differentiate between various developmental disorders related to autism spectrum disorder. The below overview related to these older classifications can offer a clear insight into autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and that can help you understand the exact diagnosis of your children in the context of this early classification.

  1. Kanner Syndrome
  2. Asperger Syndrome
  3. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  4. Rett Syndrome
  5. Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
  1. Kanner Syndrome:

This syndrome was named after Dr. Leo Kanner; he was one of the scientists responsible for the autism report in 1943, which was considered an original report. It is the type of ASD that is often called or considered as infantile ASD. It is typically observed to have an onset before the age of 30 months; symptoms of Kanner Syndrome include significant social impairments and repetitive behaviours. Children with this condition might exhibit unusual speech patterns and resist change. They often have severe deficits in language development and a pervasive lack of responsiveness to others. Furthermore, they may form peculiar attachments to objects and exhibit other atypical behaviours.

Though Kanner Syndrome is often considered a less severe form of ASD, it still represents considerable challenges. This syndrome includes earlier classification of ASD & subtypes of less severe ASD.  Among 1 out of 44 children diagnosed with Kenner syndrome with Autism. Symptoms may include.

  • Severe difficulty in language development,
  • Resistant to any change,
  • Unusual attachment to objects,
  • Pervasive lack of responsiveness to others,
  • Abnormal speech pattern.
  1. Asperger Syndrome:

It is a developmental disorder that was previously categorised as a separate condition different from autism. ASD was reclassified as a sub-type of autism (ASD) after the publication of the DSM-V ( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). It has lesser severity as compared to other ASD types. Based on several key factors, differentiation between all kinds of ASD is based on the points mentioned below.

  • There are no requirements for the absence of language delay,
  • There are no diagnostic criteria in the communication domain,
  • There is no requirement for onset before 3 years,
  • No cognitive defects.
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

Before its classification as ASD, this disorder was considered rare.It is a developmental disorder that was observed under the autism umbrella. The rate of epilepsy is higher in patients with CDD. It is a very uncommon type of autism; symptoms of this type include:

  • Loss of motor skills,
  • Loss of Play skills,
  • Low bowl control,
  • Loss of Self-care and Social Skills,
  • Less Expressive and receptive language skills.
  • Rett Syndrome:

This is a neurodevelopmental disorder that especially affects girls and also shares few similarities with ASD in the early stages of childhood, such as repetition in movements and loss of driven hand skills. It has distinctive physical symptoms not usually found in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and due to this reason, it was eliminated from the DSM-V, showing that it is no longer considered a developmental disorder under the ASD umbrella.

A gene mutation in the MECP2 causes this disorder and is much less common as compared to ASD. Less than 1% is transmitted through the inheritance of an individual. This disorder has four stages, and the severity of it may vary in each stage. Due to this, special care is acquired during an individual’s whole life. Common symptoms of Rett Syndrome include:

  • Unusual Breathing pattern
  • The slow growth of the head,
  •  Weakness of Muscles,
  • Repetition in movements,
  • loss of purposeful hand skills,
  • an abnormal walking pattern,
  • seizures, difficulty in speaking and understanding language,
  •  scoliosis.
  • Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), along with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, is one of the three main types of ASD. PDD-NOS, along with Asperger’s Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), was categorised as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

A person diagnosed with PDD-NOS may have a range of signs and symptoms, including:

  • Face Challenges with non-verbal and verbal communication,
  • Face Difficulty with social interaction,
  • Less social skills,
  • Struggles with changes in routine, i.e. stuck in the same routine,
  • Repetition movements or behaviours,
  • Uncommon play patterns.

Its reclassification into ASD helps to provide a more effective diagnostic framework for highlighting the needs of a person on the autism spectrum.

Causes Of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

According to several research studies, there are several factors or reasons that make a child more likely to have autism, including environmental and genetic factors. Several researchers linked autism with measles, mumps, and rubella, but these were proved wrong; no such was found in experiments and analyses of several cases.  Evidence also showed that childhood vaccination does not cause autism.

Assessment and Care of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

A wide range of interventions, from early childhood to across the life span, can optimize the health, development, well-being and quality of life of autistic people. Children, adults and adolescents diagnosed with autism and their carers are offered relevant support, services, referrals, and practical support to evolve their individual needs and preferences.

The healthcare assistance of people with autism is complex and requires a wide range of integrated services that include care, rehabilitation and health promotion. Collaboration between the health sector and other sectors, particularly education, employment and social care, is vital to exceptional care for this type of children.

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