Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complicated disorders of brain development. These issues are characterized, in varying ranges, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal conversation and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the 5th edition of the American Psychiatric association’s Diagnostic and Statistical manual of mental disorders (normally called the DSM-five), all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD.
Formerly, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, consisting of autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise precise (PDD-NOS) and Asperger Syndrome. The DSM is the primary diagnostic reference used by mental health experts and insurance providers in the u.s… You may additionally hear the terms classic Autism or Kenner’s Autism (named after the primary psychiatrist to describe autism) used to describe the most extreme form of the disorder.
Under the current DSM-five, the diagnosis of autism requires that at least six developmental and behavioral characteristics are observed, that problems are present before the age of 3 and that there’s no evidence of certain other situations that are comparable.
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There are 2 domains where people with ASD must show persistent deficits:
Persistent social communication and social interaction
Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior
More specifically, people with ASD must reveal (either in the past or in the present) deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interplay and deficits in developing, maintaining and understanding relationships.
< In addition, they must show at least 2 forms of repetitive patterns of behavior, consisting of stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, insistence on sameness or inflexible adherence to routines, enormously restricted, fixated interests, hyper or hypo reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment. Symptoms can be currently present or reported in past history.
Similarly to the analysis, each person evaluated will also be described in terms of any recognized genetic cause (e.g. Fragile X syndrome, Ret syndrome), level of language and intellectual incapacity and presence of scientific situations such as seizures, anxiety, and depression and/or gastrointestinal (GI) problems.
The DSM-five has an extra category called Social communication disorder (SCD). This allows for a diagnosis of disabilities in social communication, without the presence of repetitive behavior. SCD is a new diagnosis and much more studies and information is needed. There are currently few guidelines for the remedy of SCD. Until such hints become available, treatments that focus on social communication, along with many autism-specific interventions, should be provided to individuals with SCD.
Causes are below but not limited to:
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researches are trying to identify the main trigger factors for the disease. But the following factors are believed to cause autisms
1. Certain rare gene mutations, environmental stresses, parental age at the time of conception, maternal illnesses during pregnancy, difficulties during birth, oxygen deprivation to the child’s brain, among many other factors, can contribute to the disease’s development.
2. Autism does not have any single reason which may be responsible for its onset. Research proves that abnormalities in the brain structure and function can often be the cause of Autism. However, hereditary, genetically, medical issues are yet to be confirmed causes for the condition.
3. Many studies have shown that genes play a prime role in the development of Autism. But blaming genes alone is wrong. This is because families of children with Autism may have other kinds of disorders they may be suffering from. These can range from emotional disorders to social impairments. However, majority amount of studies indicate towards genes when it comes to causes of Autism. No one gene is responsible for Autism.
4. Since no two people suffering from Autism are exactly alike, it is tough to boil down to one conclusion which maybe the cause of Autism. Researchers are still looking for biological factors like problems with metabolism, immunity system, brain connections, and brain growth as some of the possible issues responsible for Autism.
The characteristic signs and symptoms of ASD can be observed in 3 essential regions of development:
- Social interaction
- Communication (verbal and non-verbal)
- Thinking and behavioral skills
People affected by ASD experience a number symptoms. A few common symptoms consist of the following:
- Not retaining an eye contact or lacking smile when doing so
- Not reacting or inconsistently reacting when their name is called out
- Allergy to noise
- Lost in own thoughts
- Hitting or biting themselves
- Not using gestures whilst communicating
- Inability to follow objects visually
- Inability to make friends
- Repetitive body movements or repeating their own sentences.
Stated symptoms can vary from one person or child to another so if you are experiencing the above symptoms or your child it is wise to contact your health doctor for further checkup.
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3 main types of ASD
- Asperger’s syndrome (AS)
This is the mildest form of Autism. People suffering from Asperger’s syndrome becomes obsessively interested in a particular object or subject. They would endlessly learn, read and discuss about it. Children with AS usually have an average or above average intelligence and that is why, it is often referred to as ‘high-Functioning Autism’.
- Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise distinctive (PDD-NOS)
This is more severe than AS but less severe than autistic sickness. The symptoms of people suffering from PDD-NOS vary widely and no 2 people suffering from the disorder will exhibit the same symptoms however a few common symptoms can also consist of the following:
– Poor social interaction
– Worse language skills than Asperger’s syndrome however better than Autistic disorder
– Much less repetitive behavior than Asperger’s syndrome and Autistic disorder
- Autistic disorder
That is the most severe form of ASD and those suffering from the disorder will have severe impairments. They may have issues with social interaction, communication and will have the most repetitive behaviors. They may as well have mental retardation and seizures.
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Pregnant women should take more care to prevent Autism in children. These precautions encompass:
- Regular visits to doctor and checking on your medication
In order to prevent Autism, it’s far important to take your medical check U.S. and medications seriously during the path of your pregnancy. This may assist you keep track of all the changes in your body and the infant’s body. This is also a key time, as the habits you may form during your pregnancy, will finally be responsible for the brain development of your baby.
- Less exposure to air-pollution
A study by Harvard school of Public health concluded that the risk of developing Autism doubles in an infant in the 1/3 trimester of the mother, if she is exposed to too much of pollution. The particular pollutants responsible for the same are yet to be cited, however staying indoors whilst pollution levels are high, or sticking to indoor exercises and activities will really help.
- Intake of folic acid, as per the doctor’s prescription
The United States of America department of health and Human services recommends pregnant girl to eat 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid each day. Studies suggests that ladies who take less folic acid all through pregnancy may cause their child developing Autism.
- Space out pregnancies
Research have observed that pregnancies while spaced between the time period of 2 and 5 years have the lowest chance of developing Autism. Research has proven that children that have been conceived within 365 days of the first pregnancy were 50 per cent more likely to develop Autism. Autism risk also increases if the parents are older in age, therefore consulting your doctor earlier than starting a family is necessary.
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- Avoid drinking alcohol and taking drugs
Consumption of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy increases the possibilities of your child developing Autism. This is because the chemical property present in these two can significantly affect the development of a toddler’s brain and hence have to not be consumed at any fee.