What Is Autism?

What Is Autism anyways?

The Center of Disease Control defines Autism as:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people.

ASDs are “spectrum disorders.” That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction. But there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are, and the exact nature of the symptoms.”

People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual disability.” http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html

When Joshua was getting the ADOS evaluation, the examiner informed me that there would be a change coming up in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (aka: DSM V) in which Asperger’s and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (NOS) would be folded into the spectrum for Autism.

http://www.psychotherapybrownbag.com/psychotherapy_brown_bag_a/2009/11/reshaping-autism-spectrum-diagnoses-in-dsmv.html

What is alarming to me is that Autism Spectrum Disorder is now being diagnosed in 1/70 boys and 1/110 kids! It’s become an epidemic that parents are becoming more aware of and more concerned about with their children. They want to know the signs of autism and what they can do about it.

Joshua is in good company, though.  Famous people thought to be autistic have included Einstein, Mozart, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, to name a few.  Not a bad bunch to be associated with!

Einstein

Van Gogh

Here’s a video from a website I found that gives a good over-view of autism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuWWie1DlJY&feature=player_embedded

Early intervention is essential and I would encourage parents to stay current on the Well-Child Checks, and get their child checked out as soon as you suspect something is wrong.  The waiting lists are often long and time is of the essence, as early intervention helps the kids progress so much!