Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect communication and social interaction. Individuals with ASD often display restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior. ASD is found across different races, cultures, and economic backgrounds with a higher occurrence in boys than girls. According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 59 children are identified with ASD.

The Debate on the Increase in ASD Cases

There are indications that the number of ASD cases is on the rise, and some experts attribute this increase to environmental factors. However, there is an ongoing debate among experts about whether there is an actual increase in cases or simply more frequent diagnoses. The cause of ASD remains unknown, and research efforts are ongoing to understand the condition’s underlying causes and potential treatments. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial in helping individuals with ASD live fulfilling and productive lives.

What are the different types of autism?

There five different ASD subtypes, or specifiers. They are:

  • with or without accompanying intellectual impairment
  • with or without accompanying language impairment
  • associated with a known medical or genetic condition or environmental factor
  • associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder
  • with catatonia

Someone can be diagnosed with one or more specifiers. people on the autism spectrum may have been diagnosed with one of the following disorders:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder

It’s important to note that a person who received one of these earlier diagnoses hasn’t lost their diagnosis and won’t need to be reevaluated.

Link: https://www.healthline.com/health/asperger-syndrome

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