Types of Autism

Published on: Mar 24 2011 by Zaheer

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a medical condition which is defined as a developmental disability or disturbance affecting the people in childhood and may persist in their adulthood as well. The treatment of autism largely depends upon the intensity of the symptoms. The sooner the autism symptoms are diagnosed greater will be the chances to cure this disorder. The effectiveness of treatment based on the diagnosis of the disorder. Autism is not a limited term. There are so many different forms of autism which affect the people in different ways. In this article, we have tried to present some of the different known types of autism along with the brief description of the nature and symptoms of each type.

What are the Different Types of Autism

It is important to note that autism occur in an early age of infancy or childhood, to say before three years of age. Medical history shows that autism is more common in males than in females. Medical researchers have explained five different types of autism in children which can take any of the form on adults as well. All these types are studied under Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Let us have a look at these five different types of autism:

Kanner’s Syndrome/Classic Autistic Disorder

This is the most common and the most severe type of autism in the children. The most prominent symptom of this disorder is the delayed speech development; however, there are many other symptoms associated with this syndrome as well. For instance, the children with this sort of autism normally like to stay in their own world, are very conservative, and are involved in repetitive movements. The children with this type of autism usually have a poor response against the loud and clatter noises. They are unable to understand jokes, emotions and innuendos. Classic Autistic Disorder is common in the children under three years of age.

Asperger’s Syndrome

Unlike classic autistic disorder, this disorder is less severe and usually develops in children at young age and continues into the adult age. This sort of autism is often called high functioning autism. In Asperger’s syndrome, the social interaction and communication of children is much better than the children with classic autistic disorder; however the level of social interaction and communication is limited. They do well in intelligence tests and may score an average or even above average. They do well in their interested subjects whatever the subject may be. They learn each and everything about it. Here, the actual problem arises, this interest in subject make them confined in their interaction and communication and they only show good interaction and communication level with the people sharing the same interest otherwise they have difficulty in interaction with other people. They also have difficulty understanding jokes and sarcasm.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Childhood disintegrative disorder is another type of autism which bears the same symptoms as we have mentioned above. Children with this sort of autism show the normal development (i.e. communication, language, motor skills and so on) up to the age of three. But once they have passed their third year of age, this disorder begins to develop in them. A loss of vocabulary, worsening of motor and social skills, declining IQ level all are the major symptoms of this disorder. The worsening of the motor and social skills is such to an extent where these children loss control over bladder. In severe cases of this disorder, seizure can also occur in an individual. Like many other types of autism, this type is also more common in males than in females. Treatments are there to control the development of the disease; however this is not completely curable.

Rett’s Disorder

This is a rare type of autism and only affects the females. Like the childhood disintegrative disorder, girls with Rett’s disorder show a good development up to the age of 6 months to 18 months. After that, a serious decline is seen in them where they begin to loose all their skills which they had learnt and developed by now. For example, they are unable to dress on their own or they are unable to take bath themselves. It is thought that the major cause of this disorder is the alteration in the order of a single gene. The symptoms shown by the girls with Rett’s disorder may by similar to many other types of autism such as like child autism, they may develop the habit of repetitive movements. Aggression and seizure are other symptoms. Here it is important to note that if the occurrence of the seizures is frequent, this could be severe. Other common symptoms involve difficulty in having a good sleep and irritability. Rett’s disorder is pretty much treatable and a proper treatment plan is required to treat the symptoms of this disorder.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified) (PDD-NOS)

A child is said to have a pervasive developmental disorder when he has symptoms almost similar to that to autism spectrum disorder with slight deviations in the symptoms. Let us explain this fact with the help of example. Let us suppose a child has symptoms of lack of eye contact and lack of ability to express his emotions but have good language and comprehension skills. Pervasive developmental disorder is a mild form of autism in which it can be possible to have one symptom more fatal than the other. With pervasive developmental disorder, it is always difficult to observe the nature of the symptoms due to which diagnosis and treatment process also become difficult.

Treating the Different Types of Autism

Now we have already discussed some of the different types of autism. It is time to talk about the treatment of these different types. The first thing you need to bear in mind is the intensity of the symptoms of autism. Treatment is largely based on the nature of the symptoms. Mild symptoms require different treatment plan while severe symptoms require to be treated differently. Also, it is worth mentioning here that not all the autism type can be treated completely. The efforts are made to lessen the severity of symptoms in order to make an individual less dependent and able to perform his own tasks. To achieve this, many therapies are used to help the people with autism to enhance their language, communication, motor and social skills.

It is always important to consult your child specialist as soon as you notice any symptoms of autism in your child. After examining your child, child specialist may refer you to any psychiatrist for further help. Remember, we have mentioned time and again that the sooner the autism symptoms are diagnosed better is the chances to treat the symptoms of autism. Like children, there are many therapies which are there to treat the adult patient with autism.


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