Autism Spectrum Disorders

ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is a developmental impairment caused by brain differences. Some ASD sufferers have a known abnormality, such as a hereditary disease. Other factors have yet to be discovered. Scientists believe that ASD is caused by a combination of factors that work together to alter how people develop in the most frequent ways. We still have a lot to learn about these issues and how they affect people living with disabilities.

There is typically nothing about people with ASD that distinguishes them from others. They may act, talk, engage, and learn differently than most individuals. People with ASD might have a wide range of abilities. Some persons with ASD, for example, may have strong communication skills while others are nonverbal. Some persons with ASD require a lot of assistance in their daily life, while others can work and live independently.

ASD usually begins at the age of three and lasts for the rest of a person’s life, however symptoms may improve over time. Within the first 12 months of life, some children develop ASD symptoms. Symptoms may not appear for another 24 months or longer in some people. Some children with ASD learn new abilities and achieve developmental milestones until they reach the age of 18 to 24 months, at which point they cease learning new skills or lose the ones they already have.

A diagnosis of ASD now encompasses autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome, which were previously diagnosed individually. All of these diseases are now referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Problems with social communication and engagement, as well as confined or repetitive activities or interests, are now included in the updated criteria for diagnosing ASD. It’s crucial to remember that some of these symptoms may also be present in persons who don’t have ASD. However, these features can make life difficult for those with ASD.

Signs and Symptoms of Autism

  1. Avoids or fails to maintain eye contact
  2. By 9 months of age, he/she hasn’t responded to his/her name.
  3. By 9 months of age, he/she does not show facial expressions such as happiness, sadness, anger, or surprise.
  4. By the age of 12 months, he/she is not playing simple interactive games like pat-a-cake.
  5. By the age of 12 months, he/she makes little or no gestures (e.g., does not wave goodbye)
  6. He/she has no common interests with others (e.g., shows you an object that he/she likes by 15 months of age)
  7. By the age of 18 months, he/she does not point or look at what you point to.
  8. By the age of 24 months, he/she does not notice when others are upset or sad.
  9. By 30 months of age, he/she does not pretend in play (e.g., does not pretend to “feed” a doll).
  10. He/she is uninterested in his/her peers.
  11. At 36 months or older, he/she has difficulty comprehending or communicating about other people’s feelings.
  12. By the age of 60 months, he/she does not play games in wich he/she takes turns.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention