What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , Autistic Spectrum Disorder is comprised of a multitude of behaviors either overrepresented, such as stereotypic behaviors, or underrepresented, such as eye contact or communication skills. A spectrum disorder, ASD appears differently across individuals affected. Three categories of behavior  assessed by diagnosticians include social interaction, communication, and restrictive stereotypic behaviors.

Social interactions are manifested as,

  • Impairment in the use of nonverbal behaviors such as eye contact, facial expression, body postures, and gestures
  • Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
  • A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g. lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest)
  • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity

Communication as manifested by,

  • Delay in, or lack of, the development of spoken language
  • Marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.
  • Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language
  • Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level

Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patters of behavior , interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following,

  • Preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patters of interest
  • Inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
  • Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms
  • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (Fourth Edition, Text Revision). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

What this means to caregivers is that life promises to be engaging, at times hectic, often stressful, sometimes trying, typically exhausting, but during special moments throughout extremely gratifying and beautifully surprising. We aspire to share the journey with you and support your family as we work together to promote more of the latter.

 

 


2 Comments

  1. Kaitlin Wesloski

    Thank-you for posting this blog. I am a resent graduate of Early Childhood Education and looking into getting my special needs certificate and some day specialize in helping children with fasd and autism. Your blog has provided me with information to inspire me to carry on with my plan of specializing in fasd and autism.

  2. Hannah Smith

    ASD is the new name of Aspergers syndrome, but people have to understand the thing that Aspergers and Autism are the two very different children disorders.
    People get confused between these two and understands these two as same but your post gives a good intro to ASD.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reference: Cluas- Aspergers Syndrome.

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