What is autism spectrum disorder? – definition, symptoms & cures

Are you worrying about whether your child has autism spectrum disorders? Are you finding and collecting all information of ASD (autism spectrum disorders)? So what is autism spectrum disorder? – is this a question that you are finding the answer for it? If your answer is “Yes”, you should read this report from the site VKool.com that will help you identify if your child or someone you know has autism spectrum disorder.

I. What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder? – Definition

1. Understanding About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Understanding about autism spectrum disorder

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a complex developmental disability or neurodevelopmental disorder, which influences how a child processes information as well as sees the world. Autism spectrum disorder can affect to a child’s communication skills, social interaction skills, social relationships, and behaviors in diverse ways and different degrees. According to recent studies, children who suffer from autism spectrum disorder can have repetitive patterns of behavior or restricted interests. In addition, children with ASD have problems with a wide range of social interactions, non-verbal communication, and some activities, which include an element of play or/and banter. Autism spectrum disorder often appears in children from 0-3 year olds. Almost parents can recognize the developmental delays or loss of skills when their children are 15 to 18 month olds. Psychologists indicate that each child can display an exclusive combination of characteristics ranging from high to low functioning forms of autism spectrum disorder. This requires individually determined treatment and educational programs.

Autism spectrum disorder can be linked to intellectual disability, difficulties in attention and motor coordination, and some physical health issues including gastrointestinal disturbances and sleep disturbances. However, some people with autism spectrum disorder excel in music, visual skills, math and art.

If you are a parent dealing with your child on autism spectrum disorder, maybe you hear many different terms such as atypical autism, pervasive developmental disorder, high-functioning autism, and autistic spectrum disorder. These terms may be confusing, not only because there are so many terms, but because therapists, doctors, and other parents use them in dissimilar ways.

2. How Common Autism Spectrum Disorder Is

How Common Autism Spectrum Disorder Is - What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Statistics of autism spectrum disorder from the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control) identify about one in sixty eight American children as on autism spectrum disorder – a tenfold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Some careful researches show that this increase is only partly explained by improved awareness and diagnosis. Other studies also uncovers that autism spectrum disorder is 4 to 5 times more common among boys. Researchers also indicate that 1/42 boys and 1/189 girls are diagnosed with ASD in the U.S.

Autism spectrum disorder actually affects to more than 2 million individuals in the United State, and tens of millions worldwide. Additionally, government ASD statistics also suggest that prevalence rates have augmented from 10 to 17 % annually in some recent years. Experts say that there is no explanation for this continuing increase, although environmental influences and improved diagnosis are 2 reasons that are often considered.

Here are some of facts of autism spectrum disorder you should know:

  • ASD prevalence figures are growing
  • ASD now affects to 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 68 children (both boys and girls)
  • ASD is the most serious developmental disability in the United State.
  • ASD costs a family roughly $60,000 a year on average
  • Boys are nearly 5 times more likely than girls to get ASD
  • It is difficult in treating and medical detecting for autism spectrum disorder

Keep reading the article of What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder? To understand more about this disorder

II. Who Is At Risk?

1. Children With ASD

Children with ASD  - Autism Spectrum Disorder

According to a survey made by CDC about health and school for 8-year children in 11 communities throughout the country, researchers indicated that in 2010, the rate of autism spectrum disorder was higher than in past United State. Studies also uncovered that roughly 1 in 68 children, boys faced about 4 to 5 times higher risk than girls. However, some experts disagree about whether this result shows an accurate increase in autism spectrum disorder prevalence. When the earlier studies were finished, guidelines for diagnosis of ASD have changed. In addition, many more doctors and parents now know about autism spectrum disorder, so more doctors have ability to properly diagnose ASD, and parents are more likely to take their child to be diagnosed. These and other changes can help explain a few differences in prevalence numbers. The CDC report even so confirms that in some other recent studies, there are more children who are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder than ever before.

Children with autism spectrum disorder develop at the different rates in the different areas. They can have delays in learning, language and social skills, while other children at the same age have abilities to walk and move around. Children with autism spectrum disorder might be good at solving computer problems or putting puzzles together, but they can have trouble with social activities including making or talking with friends. These children can also learn a harder skill before learning an easy one. For instance, a child has ability to read long words but he cannot tell you what sound A or B makes. In general, children develop their own pace; therefore, it can be difficult for you to tell precisely when a child will be able to learn a particular skill. However, there are age-specific developmental milestones that are used to measure a child’s emotional and social progress in a few first years of life.

Learn more:  16 Body Language Tips And Tricks For You Who Want To Understand And Use Body Language

2. Teens And Adults With ASD

Teens and adults with asd - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Although ASD appears mainly in children, some researches also indicate that teens and adults can have autism spectrum disorder. Autistic adults often are educators, scientists, musicians, artists, and even public speakers. Individuals who suffer from autism spectrum disorder display common problems with social and communication behavior. This can cause difficulties in some areas of life. For example, while the public school’s responsibility is to provide services until an individual with autism spectrum disorder reaches the age of 22, in some severe cases a person with autism spectrum disorder can need full-time residential to care for life. In addition, families of ASD sufferers let them face the challenge of finding employment, living arrangements to match the particular needs of their adult child, as well as finding facilities and programs, which will support these goals. Furthermore, a nurturing environment at work, at home and at school, can help a person with autism spectrum disorder continue studying and developing throughout their lives. Recent reports indicate that some people with autism spectrum disorder (especially with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism) have ability to work successfully in some mainstream jobs. Many other people with autism spectrum disorder are able to work in sheltered workshops under the supervision of many managers who are trained to work with people with disabilities. If you want to know what is autism spectrum disorder? And, how to detect it, continue reading the next part of this article.

III. What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder? – Signs And Symptoms

If you want to know more about what is autism spectrum disorder? You should learn about its signs and symptoms. According to recent studies, one of important things you should do as a caregiver or parent is to learn the early signs of ASD and become more familiar with typical developmental milestones, which your kid should be reaching. Children with autism spectrum disorder often have serious problems with emotional, social, and communication skills. These children can repeat certain behaviors and may not want to change in their daily activities. In addition, many children with autism spectrum disorder also have some different ways of paying attention, learning, focusing, or reacting to a few things. Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder start during early childhood and can last throughout a person’s life.

1. First Signs Called “Red Flags”

First signs called “red flags” - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Some below signs will help you identify if your children have the high risk of ASD:

  • Not respond to their name by 12 months of age
  • Not point at objects to show interest by 14 months of age
  • Not play games by 18 months
  • Want to be alone
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Get upset by minor changes
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Not look at objects when other people points at them
  • Have difficulty in contacting to others
  • Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings
  • Do not want to be held or cuddled, and can cuddle just when they want
  • Be unaware when other people talk to them, but respond to other sounds
  • Be very interested in people, however your children do not know how to play, talk, or relate to them
  • Echo or repeat phrases said to them, or repeat words in place of normal language
  • Have trouble expressing their needs by using typical words or motions
  • Have trouble adapting when a routine changes
  • Lose skills they once had
  • No big smiles, and warm and joyful expressions by 6 months of age or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of smiles sounds, and other facial expressions by 9 months of age
  • No babbling by 12 months of age
  • No back-and-forth gestures including reaching, pointing, waving, or showing by 12 months of age
  • No words by 16 months of age
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases by 2 year olds
  • Loss of babbling, social skills or speech at any age

Learn more: 14 Common Signs Of Autism In Toddlers And Solutions

2. Social Skills Or Social Issues

Social issues are the most common symptoms of all the types of autism spectrum disorders. Basic social interaction may be difficult for kids with ASD. In addition, people who suffer from autism spectrum disorder don’t have social difficulties such as shyness. The social issues can cause some serious problems in everyday life. Here are some examples of social issues associated with autism spectrum disorder:

Social skills or social issues - Autism Spectrum Disorder

  •  A child with ASD has inappropriate or unusual body gestures, language, and facial expressions (for instance, avoiding eye contact, and using facial expressions, which do not match what she or he is saying).
  • Your kid lacks interest in other people, and he or she does not want to shareachievements or interests with other people. For example, your kid does not want to show you a drawing, or point to a bird.
  • Not likely to approach other people or pursue social interactions; a child with ASD comes across as detached and aloof; he or she prefers to be alone.
  • Autism kids have difficulty in understanding other people’s feelings,nonverbal cues, and reactions.
  • Autism kids will have the resistance to be touched.
  • These kids have difficulty in making friends with other children at the same age.
  • Autism kids do not respond to their name by 12 months of age
  • They avoid eye-contact and prefer to play alone
  • They only interact to achieve their desired goal
  • They have flat or inappropriate facial expressions
  • They do not know personal space boundaries
  • They avoid or resist physical contact
  • Maybe a few autism kids have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about own feelings
  • Autism people make very little eye contact
  • A child with ASD does not respond to parents’ smile or other facial expressions
  • He or she does not look at objects or events his or her parents are looking at or pointing to
  • He or she does not point to events or objects to get his or her parents look at them
  • A child with ASD does not bring objects of personal interests to show to his or her parents
  • Children with ASD often do not have appropriate facial expressions
  • Children with ASD are unable to perceive what other people might be feeling or thinking by looking at facial expressions
  • Children with ASD do not show concern or empathy for other people
  • They are unable to make friends or they are uninterested in making friends
  • They tend to look and pay attention less to people in their environment or they fail to respond to other people
  • A child with ASD rarely seeks to share his or her enjoyment of activities or toys by showing or pointing things to other people
  • He or she responds unusually when other people show distress, anger, or affection.

Learn more: Top 5 Tips And Strategies On How To Improve Social Skills In Toddlers And Children

3. Communication Issues

Communication issues - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Almost individuals with ASD have different communication skills. Some of people with ASD can speak well. Other people cannot speak at all or only speak very little. Around 40 percent of kids with autism spectrum disorder do not talk at all. Around 25 percent to 30 percent of kids with autism spectrum disorder have some words at 12 months to 18 months of age and then lose them gradually. About 30 percent of children with ASD can speak, but not until later in childhood. Here are some examples of communication problems linked to autism spectrum disorder:

  • Delay language and speech skills
  • Reverse pronouns (for example, he or she says “you” instead of “I”)
  • Repeat phrases or words over and over (called echolalia)
  • Do not point or respond to pointing
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Talk in a robot-like, flat, or sing-song voice
  • Use few or no gesture (for example, he or she does not wave goodbye)
  • Do not understand sarcasm, jokes, or teasing
  • Do not pretend to be playing (for example, he or she does not pretend to “feed” a doll)
  • Do not say single words by 17 months of age
  • Do not point at some things to indicate needs or share things with people
  • Repeat accurately what other people say without understanding the meaning (often called parroting or echoing)
  • Can have a good rote memory, especially for songs, letters, numbers, TV jingles, and a specific topic
  • Do not respond to name being called but respond to other sounds (such as a car horn or a cat’s meow)
  • Often do not seem to want to communicate
  • May mix up pronouns such as refer to other people as “I” and refer to self as “you”
  • Do not begin or cannot continue a conversation
  • Be slow or fail to develop gestures including showing and pointing things to other people
  • Do not use toys and any other objects to represent real life and people in pretending play
  • Lose language or other social milestones ( called regression) usually between the ages of 14 and 25 months
  • Be slow or fail to respond to names or other verbal attempts to achieve the attention
  • Babble or coo in the first year of life; however, then stop doing it
  • Learn to communicate by using his or her sign language or pictures
  • Develop language skills at a delayed pace
  • Speak just in single words and repeat certain words or phrases over and over
  • Repeat words or phrases that they hear
  • Seem unable to combine words into a meaningful sentence
  • Use words, which seem out of place, odd, and have a special meaning that is known just to people who are familiar with ways of communicating of an autism child

Learn more: Top 13 Professional Communication Skills Revealed

4. Unusual Interests And Behaviors

Unusual interests and behaviors - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Experts indicate that many of people with autism spectrum disorder have unusual interest or behaviors. Here are some examples of unusual behaviors and interests related to autism spectrum disorder:

  • Play with toys the same way every time
  • Line up toys or other objects
  • Get upset by minor changes
  • Like parts of objects (e.g., wheels)
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Flap hands, rock body, or spin self in circles
  • Have to follow certain routines
  • Rock, spin, sway, twirl fingers, walk on toes for a long time, or flap hands (stereotypic behavior)
  • Have difficulty with change
  • Like order, routines, and rituals
  • Have difficulty with change
  • Obsess with some unusual activities and do them repeatedly during the day
  • Do not seem to feel pain
  • Play with the parts of toys instead of the whole toys (for instance, spin the wheels of a toy truck)
  • Unusual use of gaze or vision and look at objects from unusual angles
  • Become very sensitive or not tolights, smells, textures, sounds, and touch

Learn more: How To Be More Sociable And Out Going Around Strangers

5. Restricted Behavior And Play

Restricted behavior and play - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Kids with autism spectrum disorder are often restricted,obsessive, and rigid in their interests, behaviors, and activities. Symptoms can include:

  •  Be fascinated by moving pieces, spinning objects, or parts of toys. For example, children with ASD like spinning the wheels of their race car, instead of playing with a whole car
  • Have abnormal posture, clumsiness, or odd ways of moving
  • Have a strong need for routines, sameness and order (for example, kids with ASD always line up toys, and follow a rigid schedule).
  • Get upset by having changes in their environment or routine
  • Have repetitive body movements (hand flapping, spinning, and rocking), and move constantly
  • Have a preoccupation with specific topics of interest including numbers or symbols (sports statistics, maps, and license plates)
  • Have an obsessive attachment to some unusual objects (keys, rubber bands, and light switches)

6. Speech And Language

Speech and language - Autism Spectrum Disorder

If your child has problems with language and speech comprehension, this is a telltale sign of autism spectrum disorder. Symptoms can include:

  •  Delay in learning to speak after 2 year olds or do not talk at all
  • Speak with an odd rhythm or pitch, or speak in an abnormal tone of voice
  • Repeat words again and again without communicative intent
  • Trouble beginning a conversation or keeping it going
  • Have difficulty in communicating needs or desires
  • Do not understand simple questions or statements
  • Miss humor, irony, and sarcasm, and take what is said too literally

Learn more: Top 20 Easy Tips For Public Speaking That Will Make Your Kid Become A Better Speaker

7. Related Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Kid with autism spectrum disorder always have issues with their sleeps - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children with ASD often suffer from one or more other conditions including:

  • Uneven cognitive abilities – ASD occurs at all intelligence levels. Children with ASD often develop unevenly cognitive skills. With these children, their verbal skills tend to be weaker than their nonverbal skills. Additionally, they typically do well on some tasks includingvisual skills or immediate memory, while other tasks such as abstract or symbolic thinking are more difficult.
  • Recommended reading:  The Top 11 Tips On How To Develop Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional difficulties – kids who suffer from ASD will have difficulty in regulating their emotions as well as expressing them properly. For example, a kid can start to cry, yell, or laugh hysterically for no obvious reason. When these children are stressed, they can exhibit aggressive or disruptive behavior (such ashitting others, breaking things, and harming themselves). According to National Dissemination Centers for Children with Disabilities, children with autism spectrum disorder can be unfazed by real dangers such as moving heights or vehicles, yet be terrified of some harmless objects including a stuffed animal.
  • Sensory problems – Many kids with autism spectrum disorder either overreact or under-react to sensory stimuli. Sometimes, these children can ignore other people speaking to them, and even to the point of appearing deaf. Nevertheless, in some other times, kids with ASD can be disturbed by the softest sounds. Researchers indicate that sudden noises including a ringing telephone can make these special kids upsetting, and they can respond by making repetitive noises or covering their ears. In addition, kids with ASD also tend to be highly sensitive to texture and to touch. For example, they can cringe at a pat on the back, and they have a feel of certain fabric against their skin.
  • Sleep problems – kids with autism spectrum disorder always have issues with their sleeps. They fail to fall asleep or stay asleep. These issues make it harder for kids with ASD to focus and pay attention leading to poor behavior and loss of ability to function. Sleep problems of kids with ASD can cause stress for their family, especially for their parents.

Learn more: The Top 18 Best And Worst Foods For Sleep.

8. Other Symptoms

Temper tantrums - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Some people with ASD have other symptoms. These might include:

  • Impulsivity (acting without thinking)
  • Hyperactivity (very active)
  • Aggression
  • Short attention span
  • Temper tantrums
  • Causing self injury
  • Unusual mood or emotional reactions
  • Unusual sleeping and eating habits (Learn more: 9 Tips On Promoting Healthy Eating Habits At Home)
  • Unusual reactions to the way thingssmell, sound, look, taste, or feel
  • Lack of fear or even more fear than expected

If you want to know what is autism spectrum disorder? And how to diagnose it, let read the next part of this article.

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