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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Posted on January 30, 2018 at 11:35 AM

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder is the name for a group of developmental disorder. This disorder consists of a wide range of symptoms, skills, and level of disability. People with this disorder usually have these distinguishing characteristics:

• Ongoing social problems; difficulty communication with others and interacting

• Repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities

• Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life.

Some people aren’t badly impaired as other by their symptoms. Treatment practices and services can improve a person’s symptoms and their ability to function on a day-to-day basis.

Signs and Symptoms of ASD

1. Restrictive/repetitive behaviors may include:

• Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual ones

• Overly focused interests

• Having lasting, intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts

2. Social communication/ interaction behaviors may include:

• Getting upset by a slight change in routine or being placed in a new setting

• Making little or inconsistent eye contact

• Responding in an unusual way when others show anger, distress, or affection.

• Having facial expressions and gestures that don’t match what is being said

• Using words that seem odd, out of place, or have a special meaning known only to those familiar with that person’s way of communicating.

• Repeating words they hear or phrases, behavior called echolalia.

Risk Factors

Genes and the environment play an important role on who and how a person developed ASD. These factors include:

• Gender- boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ASD

• Having a sibling with ASD

• Having older parents (mother who was 35 or older, and/or a father who was 40 or older when the baby was born)

• Genetics- about 20% of children with ASD also have certain genetic conditions. These conditions include down syndrome and tuberous sclerosis.

Treatment and Therapies

• Contact the local health department, school, or autism advocacy groups to learn about their special programs.

• Find an autism support group (they can help reduce stress and learn from others facing the same situations they are)

• A doctor may use medication to treat some instances with ASD. With the medication, a person may have less problems with irritability, aggression, repetitive behavior, attention problems, anxiety and depression

From: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml © 2016

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