Autism spectrum disorders include various forms of social communication and behavioral challenges. These problems can range from mild to severe and just about anywhere in between. The level of support needed is based on the diagnosis. These are the different disorders on the autism spectrum.
In 2013, a new umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder was put into place in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5). A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now includes several conditions that before 2013, used to be treated and diagnosed separately. This includes:
Childhood disintegrative disorder is the least common of the autism spectrum disorders although it is the most severe. This disorder describes children who oftentimes develop normally by societal standards and then rather quickly, lose many language, mental, and social skills between the ages of 2 to 4. More likely than not, these children also develop a seizure disorder.
This is a very rare (typically less than 1,000 cases per year) genetic mutation affecting brain development in girls. Children with Rett syndrome usually have behaviors similar to autism and for this reason, it used to be grouped under the same umbrella as various autism spectrum disorders. It is no longer considered an ASD (autism spectrum disorder) but rather a genetic mutation. There is currently no cure for Rett syndrome but physical and speech therapy, as well as nutritional support and various medications help manage symptoms, prevent complications, and improve quality of life.
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Autism, otherwise known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, lack of eye contact, repetitive behaviors, as well as nonverbal communication. 2021 studies show that autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the United States today. In other words, over 2% of all United States born children today are affected by autism.
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