Tag Archives: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Richard asks…

Is being in your own little world a part of autism?

I have autism spectrum disorder or aspergers syndrome and I am in my own little world most of the time. It distracts me form my learning I start thinking about star trek or videogames or something else. I wonder is this a part of AS? Because I can be looking at the teacher and daydreaming at the same time and not get the assignment. Are most kids with aspurgers syndrome in there own little worlds? How can I get out of there?

admin answers:

It’s quite common for people with autism spectrum disorders to be in their own world a lot, but not everyone on the autism spectrum is like that and some people who are not on the spectrum are in their own world too.

I think being in our own world a lot can probably be explained at least partly by our environment not being suitable for us. I have Asperger’s syndrome too and I’m in my own world most of the time and I seem to go there when there is either too little or too much stimuli in my environment. I go to my own world in attempt to regulate the stimuli to make it the way I need it to be.

When I was in school I was bored most of the time, because the things we were studying about were too easy for me, so I kept my mind busy by being in my own world a lot, dealing with something more challenging. When I felt lonely and didn’t really have any friends or family to feel close to, I went to my own world to spend time with imaginary, loving friends. At my current working place there is excessive sensory input and I go to my own world a lot to try to block out some of the sensory input and distractions around me. I don’t go to my own world when I’m in a good, suitable environment with an appropriate amount of challenges and sensory experiences and balanced emotions.

I’ve never really attempted to stop being in my own world, because I don’t consider it much of a problem, but I guess that if i wanted to, I’d try to do it by trying to make my environment more suitable somehow, for example by making sure I have something challenging and interesting to do, but a good sensory and emotional environment to do it in.

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Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Betty asks…

How will Asperger syndrome and PDD be Diagnosed in the future once the definition is Changed?

I heard that instead of 3 being diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (aspergers syndrome), PDD-NOS and Autistic disorder there will only be one type
but, what if the child have mild symptoms of Autism just like Aspergers, how will they be diagnosed? How will Aspergers syndrome and PDD-NOS be diagnosed differently under the dsm-5 if they have symptoms of an autism Spectrum disorder?

admin answers:

Actually there are currently 5 subtypes…also childhood disintegrative disorder and retts

instead of labeling by subtype–they will just use one label for all groups

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Must meet criteria A, B, C, and D:

A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts, not accounted for by general developmental delays, and manifest by all 3 of the following:

1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity; ranging from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back and forth conversation through reduced sharing of interests, emotions, and affect and response to total lack of initiation of social interaction,

2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction; ranging from poorly integrated- verbal and nonverbal communication, through abnormalities in eye contact and body-language, or deficits in understanding and use of nonverbal communication, to total lack of facial expression or gestures.

3. Deficits in developing and maintaining relationships, appropriate to developmental level (beyond those with caregivers); ranging from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit different social contexts through difficulties in sharing imaginative play and in making friends to an apparent absence of interest in people

B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities as manifested by at least two of the following:

1. Stereotyped or repetitive speech, motor movements, or use of objects; (such as simple motor stereotypies, echolalia, repetitive use of objects, or idiosyncratic phrases).

2. Excessive adherence to routines, ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior, or excessive resistance to change; (such as motoric rituals, insistence on same route or food, repetitive questioning or extreme distress at small changes).

3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus; (such as strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).

4. Hyper-or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of environment; (such as apparent indifference to pain/heat/cold, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, fascination with lights or spinning objects).

C. Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities)

D. Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning.

Aspergers and PDDNOS CAN fit into this definition….instead of listing different types—there will just be one type…they won’t be diagnosed differently.

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Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Laura asks…

How will Asperger syndrome and PDD be Diagnosed in the future once the definition is Changed?

I heard that instead of 3 being diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (aspergers syndrome), PDD-NOS and Autistic disorder there will only be one type
but, what if the child have mild symptoms of Autism just like Aspergers, how will they be diagnosed? How will Aspergers syndrome and PDD-NOS be diagnosed differently under the dsm-5 if they have symptoms of an autism Spectrum disorder?

admin answers:

The proposal would have 3 levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The mildest level would probably include many people with PDD-NOS and Aspergers Syndrome. The moderate level and more severe level would probably be more classic autism. The different levels would refer to the amount of support needed at school, at home, or in the community.

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Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Mary asks…

What’s the difference between a syndrome and a disorder?

I was thinking about Autism Spectrum *Disorders*, and the way I have been told it is, is that Asperger’s *Syndrome* is a type of ASD. So why is Asperger’s considered to be a syndrome rather than a disorder and why is autism considered a disorder (especially since if anything autistic people are generally “more ordered” than other people are). Just wondering……..:)
Ok, then why autism considered to be a disorder? Autism is mental, not physical.

admin answers:

A syndrome refers to a specific set of recurring symptoms, whereas a disorder is a more general term for a disturbance. You can have a disorder but not display the symptoms, whereas a syndrome *is* the symptoms.

For example, AIDS is a syndrome (hence the S) caused by HIV. You can have the virus, but if you’re not displaying any symptoms, then you don’t have AIDS.

Don’t get too worked up on the difference, though. This is especially true when it comes to autism, considering it can have benefits as well as downsides, and for a lot of people isn’t really a problem. Autism isn’t really a disease so much as it is a difference from the norm, and for some people those differences cause a problem and for others they don’t. That’s why the terminology gets so shaky.

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Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lisa asks…

What are the most common reasons a child is diagnosed with PDD-NOS instead of autism?

PDD-NOS is Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders but not enough criteria have been met according to the DSM for the diagnostic label of autism.) PDD-NOS is sometimes referred to as atypical autism. Someone could have mild autism or severe PDD-NOS. I know every child is different and have varying levels of symptoms. I’m mostly posing this question to parents of children with PDD-NOS and/or child psychology experts. Thank you.

admin answers:

Supposedly, you are to diagnose someone with PDD, NOS if they have some of the symptoms of autism, but not all of the required criteria. Unfortunately, professionals do differ on how they interpret the criteria, meaning one professional may diagnose a person with PDD, NOS, and another with autism. Another thing is that I noticed that some professionals feel uncomfortable diagnosing autism, but are comfortable diagnosing PDD, NOS. To diagnose PDD, NOS, there is not much criteria needed, so professionals aren’t fearful of doing it incorrectly. With autism, professionals fear they may not be diagnosing based upon the perceived professional requirements, so unless they are specifically trained in autism, professionals will usually not use this term in diagnosing. When I say specifically trained, I mean a lot of training in this area, more so than what is typically taught in school.

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Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Ken asks…

Can someone explain the relationship between intelligence level and autism?

So I understand that the majority of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are in a self -contained classroom that doesn’t tell me anything about intelligence level. Are they the same as those with learning disibilities and IQ scores are generally higher or average?
Any thoughts?

admin answers:

Autism, unlike mental retardation, generally is characterized by social deficiencies rather than cognitive deficiencies.

Generally, Autistic individuals may have average IQ scores, possibly they will excel in certain areas, depending on where the type of Autism falls on the spectrum. This is, however, rare.

Many times, however, Autistic individuals are dually diagnosed as mentally retarded also. In this instance, the IQ is affected.

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Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

John asks…

Can anyone reccomend a reliable, available and personable practitoner of biomedical treatment for Autism?

I work with a lot of families who are interested in pursuing biomedical treatments for their children with Autism Spectrum Disorders as part of their treatment/intervention/support plan. Until there is more comprehensive, peer reviewed research I am not comfortable with making reccomendations myself either for or against biomed options. However, should parents/carers/people with ASD ask for referrals, I would like to get an idea of who in Australia comes most highly reccomended.

admin answers:

Associate Professor Verity Bottroff (PhD) from Flinders University Adelaide:

Head of the Department of Disability Studies, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Australia. Coordinator of undergraduate & post-graduate courses (internal & external) in autism spectrum disorders. Vice-President of Autism SA & Chairperson of the Professional Committee of Autism Council Australia.

The Pfeiffer Treatment Center Melbourne are pioneers in reducing the symptoms of behavioral and learning disorders – including ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders

Some of the latest research into Autism has shown that there are 2 main subcategories of autistic children. These are over-methylators or under-methylators. Determination of which category the child is in allows more specific treatment for that individual. This can easily be determined through specialist metabolic testing. Therapy can then be individualised for the patient.

For an appointment, please phone Mark on: 0417 831 055.

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Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jenny asks…

How does an adult go about getting assessed for Asperger’s?

My boyfriend, his family, and I think he may have an autism spectrum disorder (probably Asperger’s). His doctor recommended he get checked for autism when he was a child, but his father was against it for whatever reason so he never got help, and he has been struggling with handling adult responsibilities lately. I want to try to get him some professional help, but I’ve been having trouble finding information for adults. How does an adult (he is 26) go about getting assessed for Asperger’s? Thank you!

admin answers:

He’ll need to find a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in autism spectrum disorders, and who doesn’t just work with children. His primary care physician may be able to suggest someone. There are not as many resources for adults looking for a diagnosis, but there are some professionals who are qualified to work with all ages.

The adult evaluation will be based on your boyfriend’s self-report, an interview with his parents (if possible), his performance on cognitive tests, and the professional’s observations of his behavior. He may also take a personality test and other tests to screen for issues like anxiety and depression. The assessment takes 4-5 hours, most of which is the testing. Most of the tests come from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and they include things like memorizing strings of numbers, forming pictures with blocks, and defining words.

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Question?: What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Linda asks…

How do I gently suggest autism evaluation to a friend?

Over the past few months, a friend has been talking to me about her 3 year old son’s behavior and developmental issues. As the mother of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I can see several symptoms that could be the early signs of autism in her son. The refusal to look into anyone’s eyes. The ritualistic behavior. “Meltdowns” when his routine is messed up. Extremely violent temper tantrums. Very little original verbalization, but he mimicks others. She says the boy’s preschool teacher told her there’s “nothing wrong with him”, and I’m by no means an expert, but I know the signs and symptoms after going through it with my son. I’m worried that she’s taking this teacher’s word as gospel, which could mean her son is missing out on getting help for an entire school year.

How do I tactfully (and without panicking her) that she may want to have him evaluated for autism? If I just suggest she take him to the dr, she’s going to want to know what I’m thinking it could be.

admin answers:

Your task is an arduous one. First, she is your friend. Second, you have an autistic child, so you have more experience than most mothers. Third, tell her of your concern that her son is exhibiting some similar patterns that you saw in your child before diagnosis. Fourth, tell her that you have more personal experience with autism than the teacher who has had little experience with autistic children (unless the teacher is a special ed teacher for autistic children). Fifth, explain that earlier diagnosis and treatment of autism may have a much better outcome than delayed diagnosis. Sixth, tell her you understand that she may be angry with your intrusion into her child’s life. Seventh,
give her articles on autism, and on the national organizations available. Much information from reliable sources are on the computer (let her use yours if necessary).

If she realizes you are a TRUE friend who is concerned for the well-being of her child, your friendship will be made stronger. If her child is not autistic, after a pediatric visit, etc, then you can rejoice with her. If you are right, you can comfort her, having been there earlier.

Reiterate that you are only a mother of an autistic child, not a doctor, and suggest she ask her pediatrician about what behaviors he is displaying. You could give her a list of the behaviors you see so she can take them to her pediatrician.

You are right on to help your friend, and if she is wise, she will thank you for taking the time to care about her son.

If she stops being your friend, then she wasn’t one to begin with, and we cant save the world, can we????

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