The different kinds of autism have quite a lot of overlap. In children the variance in symptoms is more pronounced and given rise to the autism spectrum disorder concept or ASD. Boys are more prone to having autism than girls. The numbers of autism detections are on the rise, but might just be due to better detection. An earlier diagnosis is better as it can provide earlier treatment and thus help children having autism do better with social skills and language.
Three separate aspects of the life of a child may be affected by autism spectrum disorders:
The patterns of ASD will be different for each child. The mental development of a child may be slowed from birth. Few children start developing normally and then suddenly start losing language or social skills. Others exhibit normal development till the time they start showing abnormal preoccupations and thoughts. Losing language skills may be majorly impairing for some children. While in others, abnormal behavior shows up as a dominating factor. Parents generally are the first, who observe any wrong behavior. The diagnosis of autism is usually delayed. The early autism signs might be downplayed by the physician or parents, indicating that there is a minor developmental delay. Medical professionals should evaluate children who have possible ASD.
The three primary autism types are:
Two more, rare but still critical ASD like conditions have been included – Childhood-disintegrative disorder and Rett syndrome.
Asperger’s syndrome is the mildest autism type. Boys are affected thrice more than girls are. AS children get obsessed over a single topic or object. They tend to learn everything about their subject of choice and don’t stop discussing it. They however inept at their social skills and they generally are uncoordinated and awkward. Other ASDs are more severe than Asperger’s syndrome. It is also not uncommon for AS children to have higher than normal intelligence. Some doctors, due to this reason term it as ‘High functioning autism’. AS children on growing up, face higher depression and anxiety risks.
Children meeting a more stringent criteria for autism diagnosis have autistic disorder. They have higher language and social impairment and repetitive behavior. Seizures and mental retardation is common as well.