Sometimes referred to as ASD, autism spectrum disorder is the general term used to identify brain development disorders. Symptoms vary widely, though usually include problems with social interaction and both verbal and nonverbal communication. Other hallmarks of the condition are repetitive behaviors such as twirling or hand waving. Most children usually develop from birth and show signs of digression after one and two, losing the language and social skills they started to create.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, other signs are difficulty with social interactions, lack of eye contact, hypersensitivity to light, sound, or the texture of foods and clothing. Slow language development or complete lack of, odd attachment to objects and a severe need to stick to rigid routines are also all signs. Those diagnosed often display increased or decreased reaction to pain, response to average sound levels, and an overwhelming need to withdraw from physical contact.
Believed to be caused by abnormal brain chemistry and physiology, the exact cause has not been identified. Many factors combine to produce the disorder, heredity, diet, mercury exposure, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and even vaccine sensitivity.
According to the CDC, the center for disease control and prevention, one in every 68 children has been diagnosed. Although there’s been no link to the ethnic, racial, or socioeconomic group, it is five times more likely to occur in boys. It is not uncommon to show average to above-average intelligence.
The difference between Autism and Asperger syndrome
Considered a spectrum disorder, autism spectrum symptoms experienced can fall anywhere along with a broad range of disability. This can range from those needing constant care and supervision to people who grow up and live independently, with social friends, families, homes, and careers.
People with Asperger’s are considered to have a high functioning form of autism. They typically do not talk sooner than other children, though often develop large vocabularies early and can converse on complex topics. They’ve earned the nickname “little professors” because of their intense ability to focus, and are quite often very successful academically.
Asperger symptoms can be very subtle and hard to exact. According to Autismspeaks.org, people with the syndrome are awkward in a way that is not easily understood. The trouble with eye contact and modulating their voices are familiar. They may fixate on a single subject that they find fascinating and talk incessantly about it without realizing that other people are not as interested. Mostly they long for normalcy and healthy connections, much like other people do, though they may lack the skills to sustain them.