Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong condition caused by a faulty nervous system that leads to abnormal brain function.

Asperger’s Disorder vs Autism
People often get confused between Asperger’s Disorder and autism. In Asperger’s Disorder, the symptoms tend to be milder compared to “classic” autism, and language and cognitive abilities — emotional, intellectual, mental, and subjective abilities—aren’t affected in those with ASD. Both ASD and autism fall under the category of ASD.

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

  • Difficulty matching social behaviors – such as insensitivity to others’ feelings
  • Communication problems – verbal and nonverbal, such as strange word choices and poor eye contact
  • Restricted and repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities – movements such as hand-flapping and head-banging

The symptoms of ASD can be mild, moderate, or severe. ASD is typically diagnosed in children before the age of two by a specialist such as a paediatrician or child psychiatrist.

Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Each person with autism is unique, so individualised treatment plans should be tailored to address specific needs.

  • There is no “cure” for ASD.
  • Behavioural treatments, medicines, or both are available to support children and their parents. A good teacher is more helpful than a good doctor, and special schooling is often needed; although this is not always necessary, and mainstream schooling is still possible with additional support.
  • Many people with autism also have coexistent medical conditions such as sleep disorders, seizures, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Treating these conditions can improve attention, learning, and related behaviors.

Whats the Outlook?

  • 70% remain severely handicapped.
  • 50% develop useful speech.
  • 30% develop seizures by adulthood.
  • 15% will live an independent life.

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

  • Difficulty matching social behaviors – such as insensitivity to others’ feelings
  • Communication problems – verbal and nonverbal, such as strange word choices and poor eye contact
  • Restricted and repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities – movements such as hand-flapping and head-banging

The symptoms of ASD can be mild, moderate, or severe. ASD is typically diagnosed in children before the age of two by a specialist such as a paediatrician or child psychiatrist.

Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Each person with autism is unique, so individualised treatment plans should be tailored to address specific needs.

  • There is no “cure” for ASD.
  • Behavioural treatments, medicines, or both are available to support children and their parents. A good teacher is more helpful than a good doctor, and special schooling is often needed; although this is not always necessary, and mainstream schooling is still possible with additional support.
  • Many people with autism also have coexistent medical conditions such as sleep disorders, seizures, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Treating these conditions can improve attention, learning, and related behaviors.

Whats the Outlook?

  • 70% remain severely handicapped.
  • 50% develop useful speech.
  • 30% develop seizures by adulthood.
  • 15% will live an independent life.
Source NIMH