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Autism Spectrum Disorder

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ASD. Have you ever heard of the term of ASD? ASD is better known as autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Autism can be diagnosed at any age although it is typically diagnosed within the first two years of life which is why it is considered a developmental disorder. ASD is acknowledged as a spectrum disorder because there is a wide variety in the type and the severity of symptoms autistic individuals may experience. Understanding autism can be a difficult challenge, however with research it is possible to distinguish the different signs and symptoms, causes and risk, diagnosing process, treatment, therapy, and medications of autism spectrum disorder. There are many study groups continuing the research on ASD to better help people understand what autism spectrum disorder is and how they may help.

Signs and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder can be extremely broad and they very person to person. The main signs and symptoms of ASD are broken into two categories, social communication / interaction and restrictive / repetition. Social communication and interaction has an abundant number of signs and symptoms as to this is where autism affects the most. Major signs and symptoms of social communication and interaction are making little or inconsistent eye contact, failing to, or being too slow to respond to someone calling their name or speaking to them, also having difficulties with the back and forth of conversation. The second category restrictive and repetition have a few symptoms along with it. These symptoms include repeating certain behaviors, having overly focused interest in a specific topic, and getting upset by slight changes in their normal routine. Some other signs and symptoms an autistic individual may experience that do not fit into either category are sleep problems and irritability. With these challenges, people with ASD struggle with, they may also have strengths that include being able to learn things in great detail, remembering information for long periods of time, having strong visual and auditory skills, and having great wisdom in math, science or art. Along with autism spectrum disorder comes many other medical issues. An individual with ASD may also develop epilepsy, gastrointestinal problems and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are also medical issues the individual may develop.

Doctors and researchers have been trying to figure out what is the cause of autism spectrum disorder but they still have not found the specific cause. Researchers have gotten close with their studies and found some things they believe to be a risk or have some type of contribution in the cause of autism spectrum disorder. Researchers suggest that genes act together with the environment to affect development of individuals in ways that lead to ASD. One thing researchers believe can be a risk to have ASD is having much older parents. Another risk is having extremely low birth weight. Studies also show that having a sibling with autism spectrum disorder has a major effect on the individual developing autism as well. Last major risk are for individuals who have genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, X syndrome and Rett syndrome, which is said to all contribute to the cause of autism spectrum disorder. Researchers are not sure of the exact cause of ASD but with studies, these are all of the factors that may contribute to autism spectrum disorder.

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder can be done by a doctor or physician. Doctors diagnose ASD by looking at a person’s behavior and development. ASD can usually be diagnosed by the age of two years old into adulthood. Typically ASD is diagnosed in the beginning two-five years of life. Diagnosing in young children is done in two stages. Stage one is general development

What to do next? The diagnosis just took place so now it is time for the next part. Treatments, therapy and medication for autism spectrum disorder. Every individual child or adult has unique strengths and challenges. Therefore, each individual will have different treatment methods and medications. People with ASD may have a mixture of behavioral treatments, therapy, medications



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