Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Types of Autism Your Child Might Be Diagnosed With

Autism is not a disease in and of itself, rather it is a group of symptoms that result in profound disability. Although many people think of all autistic children having the problems. This is not true. There are several common characteristics of autism, but any one child does not show each of them and the degree of severity can vary from very mild to severe.

All children diagnosed with an autism type disorder have some combination of developmental delays. The exact combination is what differentiates among the types of autism. This diagnosis is made by a trained developmental therapist of psychologist.

There are five recognized types of autism:

Aspgergers :Children with this diagnosis usually have high functioning autism. This condition may often be confused with obsessive compulsive disorder or social anxiety disorder. Aspergers is usually diagnosed later than autism.

Kanner Syndrome: A child with this syndrome is locked in his/her own world. They have great difficulty interacting with others. Extreme language difficulty and inability to express emotions are always present. This child is generally very resistant to change in routine, things must stay the same. They are generally low functioning and unable to live independently

Rett's Syndrome: This a rare disorder first described by Dr. Rett. It occurs almost exclusively in girls. Dr. Rett first diagnosed this syndrome in the 1960's but in the late 1990's a gene was found that might cause this disorder. The girls' with this disorder may seem normal at first, but they usually suffer from muscle atrophy and experience repetitive movements with their hands, and often show signs of mental retardation. The girls are low functioning and unable to live independently.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder: This is also a rare disorder in which the children seem to have normal development at birth and until age 1 or 2 when they regress, usually do not potty train. They lose language skills and the ability to interact with others.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not otherwise specified:

PDD-NOS describes children having the same symptoms as autism. They need the same interventions. The differences between PDD-NOS and autism can usually only be recognized by researchers.

All five of these forms of autism fall under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) they are also called pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). To the children and their families, exactly which label is given to their child, while helpful for specific therapies does not really make a difference in the outcome.

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