Is there different types of autism

What Are the 5 Types of Autism?

Autism refers to a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders. If your child is living with autism, it is important for you to understand the various types of autism and the symptoms presented by each.

Understanding the unique challenges presented by each type of autism will guide you in helping your child cope with the disorder. There are five major types of autism which include Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, Kanner’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified.

Main Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Asperger’s Syndrome

Although the term Asperger’s syndrome was quite common before 2013, the term is actually no longer used by medical professionals. It has since been reclassified as level 1 autism spectrum disorder by the DSM-5 diagnostic manual. Still, Asperger’s syndrome may be used informally — in fact, autism communities use it more often than level 1 spectrum disorder.

A child with level 1 spectrum disorder will have above average intelligence and strong verbal skills but will experience challenges with social communication. In general, a child with level 1 autism spectrum disorder will display the following symptoms:

  • Inflexibility in thought and behavior
  • Challenges in switching between activities
  • Executive functioning problems
  • Flat monotone speech, the inability to express feelings in their speech, or change their pitch to fit their immediate environment
  • Difficulty interacting with peers at school or home

Rett Syndrome

Rett syndrome is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder that is noticed in infancy. The disorder mostly affects girls, although it can still be diagnosed in boys. Rett syndrome presents challenges that affect almost every aspect of a child's life. The good thing is your child can still enjoy and live a fulfilling life with the proper care. You can have family time together and provide support to allow the child to do what they enjoy.

Common symptoms of Rett syndrome include:

  • Loss of standard movement and coordination
  • Challenges with communication and speech
  • Breathing difficulties in some cases

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), also known as Heller's syndrome or disintegrative psychosis, is a neurodevelopmental disorder defined by delayed onset of developmental problems in language, motor skills, or social function. A child experiences normal development in these areas only to hit a snag after age three and up to age 10. The developmental loss can be very heartbreaking for parents who had no idea their child had autism challenges all along.

The cause of CDD is unknown though researchers link it to the neurobiology of the brain. Childhood disintegrative disorder is more common in boys. Out of every 10 cases of the disorder, nine will be boys, and only one will be a girl.

In CDD, the child will have normal development up to the time when the disorder starts, and regressions suddenly start to occur in more than two developmental aspects of their life. The child may lose any of the following skills and abilities:

  • Toileting skills if they had already been established
  • Acquired language or vocabularies
  • Social skills and adaptive behaviors
  • Some motor skills

Kanner’s Syndrome

Kanner’s syndrome was discovered by psychiatrist Leo Kanner of John Hopkins University in 1943 when he characterized it as infantile autism. Doctors also describe the condition as a classic autistic disorder. Children with Kanner's syndrome will appear attractive, alert, and intelligent with underlying characteristics of the disorder such as:

  • Lack of emotional attachment with others
  • Communication and interaction challenges
  • Uncontrolled speech
  • Obsession with handling objects
  • A high degree of rote memory and visuospatial skills with major difficulties learning in other areas

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

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is a mild type of autism that presents a range of symptoms. The most common symptoms are challenges in social and language development.

Your child may experience delays in language development, walking, and other motor skills. You can identify this type of autism by observing the child and noting what area the child displays a deficit in, such as interacting with others. PDD-NOS is sometimes referred to as “subthreshold autism,” as it is a term used to describe an individual that has some but not all symptoms of autism.

Managing the Different Types of Autism

Management of autism depends on the type of autism and the severity of symptoms. For instance, mild types of autism such as level 1 autism spectrum disorder can be managed through behavior modification or social training while individuals with Rett syndrome would require more substantial support like physical or occupational therapy.

Some forms of autism require behavior modification and other additional support. You may be required to change your child's diet to avoid preservatives, gluten, and artificial sugars. Another example is adding food coloring to different foods in a meal to encourage your child to improve their visual skills as they eat. Your family doctor will guide you on the specific treatment options that will best serve your child.

We Can Help

If you are taking care of a child with autism, you first need to identify the type of autism affecting your child. After identification, you will need to seek consultation from an expert to help you manage the specific type of autism disorder. Children living with autism experience social challenges, and only a well-trained and experienced therapist can help them. At Integrity Inc., our services have been tested and modified by years of experience in treating autism. Let us be the help your child needs to cope with the challenges of any form of autism. Call us at (501) 406-0442 to book an appointment today!

What are the types of autism?

In the past, doctors diagnosed autism according to four different subtypes of the condition. However, healthcare professionals now classify autism spectrum disorder as one broad category with three different levels to specify the degree of support an autistic person needs.

Before 2013, healthcare professionals defined the four types of autism as:

  • autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • childhood disintegrative disorder
  • pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified

However, the American Psychiatric Association revised their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013, which did not include these four subtypes of autism. They now all fall under the one umbrella term of ASD.

Keep reading to learn more about how we categorize ASD, including the various levels, and how doctors diagnose the condition.

ASD is now the umbrella term for the group of complex neurodevelopmental disorders that make up autism. It is a condition that affects communication and behavior.

The autism spectrum refers to the variety of potential differences, skills, and levels of ability that are present in autistic people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1 in 54 children in the United States are on the autism spectrum.

The differences in autistic people are often present from early childhood and can impact daily functioning.

Autistic people can experience the following challenges:

  • having trouble communicating and interacting with others
  • exhibiting repetitive behaviors
  • having difficulty functioning in several areas of their life

Differences in people with ASD generally appear in the first 2 years of life. It is also three to four times more common in boys than in girls, although some research indicates this could be due to bias, as some autistic girls may go undiagnosed.

The DSM–5 lists the two main symptom categories of ASD as a persistent deficit in social communication, interaction, or both, along with restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, early signs of ASD can include:

  • little or inconsistent eye contact
  • not sharing enjoyment of objects or activities by pointing or showing things to others
  • difficulty responding to adult attempts to gain attention
  • difficulty with back and forth communication
  • talking at length without gauging the interest of others
  • a flat tone of voice
  • difficulty with perspective-taking
  • sensory sensitivities
  • repeating certain behaviors, words, or phrases
  • intense interests in specific things
  • becoming upset by changes in routine
  • problems sleeping

While autistic people may face many challenges, they may also have differences that many would consider strengths. These include:

  • superior memory for facts and figures
  • specialist knowledge in topics of interest
  • high level of motivation and enthusiasm in activities of interest, with a drive to share this enjoyment and enthusiasm with others
  • a high degree of accuracy in various tasks
  • innovative approaches to problem solving
  • exceptional attention to detail
  • ability to follow instructions accurately, under appropriate guidance
  • exceptional skills in creative skills
  • ability to see the world from an alternative perspective and therefore offer unique insights
  • a tendency to be nonjudgmental, honest, and loyal in social relationships
  • a unique sense of humor

Medical professionals can carry out screening for autism in the first few years of a child’s life.

Doctors diagnose ASD by assessing the differences and signs listed above, interacting with the child or observing interactions between the child and parent or caregiver, and asking parents and caregivers questions.

There were previously four different types of autism. However, the DSM–5 now lists three different levels of ASD, which doctors determine according to the amount of support an individual requires.

However, it is important to note that many mental health professionals do not find these levels helpful, instead preferring to diagnose people with autism based on the spectrum as a whole rather than classifying them using levels.

The three levels of ASD are:

Level 1: Requiring support

The communication issues that a person with Level 1 ASD may face include:

  • difficulty initiating social interactions
  • atypical or unsuccessful response to social interaction from others
  • decreased interest in social interactions in some cases
  • the ability to speak in clear sentences and engage in communication, but with an issue maintaining a two-way conversation with others
  • difficulty making friends

The repetitive behavioral issues a person with Level 1 ASD may face include:

  • inflexible behavior that interferes with general functioning in one or more contexts
  • problems switching between activities
  • issues with organization and planning, which can impact independence

Level 2: Requiring substantial support

The communication issues that a person with Level 2 ASD may face include:

  • noticeable issues with verbal and nonverbal social communication skills
  • social issues being apparent despite supports in place
  • limited initiation of social interaction
  • reduced response to social interactions from others
  • interactions that are limited to narrow special interests
  • more significant differences in nonverbal communication

The repetitive behavioral issues a person with Level 2 ASD may face include:

  • inflexible behavior
  • struggling to cope with change
  • restricted or repetitive behaviors that are obvious to a casual observer and interfere with functioning in several contexts
  • difficulty changing focus or action

Level 3: Requiring very substantial support

The communication issues a person with Level 3 ASD may face include:

  • severe issues in both verbal and nonverbal social communication, which severely impair functioning
  • very limited initiation of social interactions
  • minimal response to social interaction from others
  • using few words of intelligible speech
  • unusual methods of meeting social needs and responding to only very direct approaches

The repetitive behavioral issues a person with Level 3 ASD may face include:

  • inflexible behavior
  • extreme difficulty coping with change
  • restricted or repetitive behaviors that significantly interfere with functioning in all areas of life
  • experiencing great distress or difficulty when changing focus or action

Learn more about the levels of autism here.

The levels of ASD correspond to the severity of the autism symptoms described above and the degree of support required.

In addition, it is important to keep in mind that the amount of support an autistic person needs can vary according to different ages or situations.

Numerous therapies and behavioral interventions can help improve the specific challenges that autistic people face.

Healthcare professionals often recommend that ASD therapies begin as soon as possible after a child receives their diagnosis. Early intervention can reduce their difficulties, allowing them to adapt and learn new skills.

Management strategies for ASD may include:

  • educational and developmental therapy
  • behavioral therapy to help learn life skills and overcome other challenges
  • speech, language, and occupational therapy to help with social, communication, and language skills
  • medication to tackle accompanying mental health issues, such as irritability, aggression, repetitive behavior, hyperactivity, attention issues, anxiety, and depression
  • psychotherapy to help a person increase or build upon their strengths
  • supplements or changes in diet

It is important to note that ASD is a spectrum disorder, meaning people can experience a varying range of these differences. After an ASD diagnosis, many children go on to live productive, independent, and fulfilling lives.

ASD is a developmental disorder. It is now the umbrella term that includes all of the four former types of autism. These former types are ASD, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified.

ASD is a spectrum disorder that doctors diagnose in levels, depending on how many of the differences are present in individuals.

While people on the severe end of the spectrum may require help and assistance to function and manage their lives, with the right support, many autistic people can live productive, independent, and fulfilling lives.

Classification of autism - Mardaleishvili Medical Center

Autism is a disorder of the nervous system, mental disorder of a child. There are difficulties in interacting with the outside world and society.

This is a condition that accompanies the child throughout life.

Characteristic features of childhood autism are:

  1. Closeness;
  2. Limited interests;
  3. Difficulties in communication.

Psychologists and psychotherapists work with such a pathology.

Autism, like any disease, has its own classification. Consider the main groups of RDA in more detail.

Classification of childhood autism

There are two types of classification of childhood autism.

The main ones are:

  • ICD-10;
  • DSM-IV.

The first species was introduced by the World Health Organization. Today he is the main in classification of childhood autism . Based on the symptoms of the disease. Each type has its own code.

Let's take a closer look at the types of autism in children and the cipher to which it refers. Childhood autism has one common code F 84.0. Further, this disease was divided into several subspecies.

Subspecies of childhood autism have their own codes and are divided into:

  1. Atypical autism;
  2. Asperger's Syndrome;
  3. Childhood autism disorder;
  4. Rett syndrome;
  5. Mental retardation disorder with stereotyped movements;
  6. Pervasive unspecified disorders.

The second type of classification of childhood autism was presented by the American community of psychiatrists. Both of these classifications differ only in code.

Consider what species are included in this classification.

It includes four types of childhood autism:

  • Rett's disorder;
  • Asperger's disorder;
  • Pervasive developmental disorder, atypical autism.
  • Disintegrative disorder of childhood;

In addition to international classifications, a psychological variant is distinguished. It was proposed by Nikolskaya O.S. According to this classification, 4 groups of children with autism were identified.

The following groups were distinguished:

  1. Detachment, lack of need for contact with the outside world;
  2. Presence of negativism and rejection of reality, hyperexcitability;
  3. Substitution of the environment, lack of emotional connection with loved ones;
  4. Lack of contact with the external environment, fearfulness, vulnerability.

When compared with healthy peers, an autistic child shows a lack of interest in anything new. Children's curiosity is missing. With early childhood autism, classification allows you to accurately select the type of psychological rehabilitation.

Today there is a method of treating childhood autism with one's own stem cells from umbilical cord blood or bone marrow. This method of treatment is successfully used in the Mardaleishvili clinic in Georgia.

Contact the Mardaleishvili clinic!

Types of autism - description, stages, forms and groups of autism, degrees and types of autism in children

What is autism?

Defining autism is a difficult task. This is due to the fact that researchers, scientists and physicians do not have reliable facts about the causes of this disease and cannot trace the processes that lead to the development of this condition. But the main reason is the huge variety of manifestations, symptoms and forms of autism. It is in consequence of this feature that autism is usually called a spectrum disorder - Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is characterized by impaired communication, verbal abilities, difficulties in interacting with the outside world, and limited interests. The division of this disorder into childhood autism and adult autism is possible very conditionally, since autistic features remain in a person all his life, even with complete habilitation.

Each case of autism is unique, and as they say, "If you know one autist, you only know one autist." Despite this, scientists, doctors, researchers are trying to isolate from a huge variety of cases similar in severity of manifestations and symptoms and combine groups of children and adults into types of autism in order to make a correct diagnosis and correctly prioritize corrective work.

Types of autism in children and adults

Autism is included in a separate group of general disorders of psychological development according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and has the code F84. If necessary, to identify diseases associated with these disorders or mental retardation, use an additional code. It was the clinical description of autism that gave grounds to divide it by type, relying on general symptoms and manifestations, degrees of autism in children and adults:

  • Asperger's syndrome is distinguished by a fairly high intelligence in the presence of developed spontaneous speech. Most of these patients are capable of active communication and social life, including the use of speech. Many doctors have difficulty diagnosing, because high functionality obscures the problem, and the manifestations of the disease can be perceived as an extreme version of the norm or personality accentuation.
  • Classical autism (Kanner's syndrome) is distinguished by the completeness of the clinical picture, when there are distinct signs of anomalies in three areas of higher nervous activity (social interaction, communication, behavior). In terms of severity, this type varies significantly - from mild to the most severe.
  • Non-specific pervasive developmental disorder (atypical autism): the disorder does not reveal itself by far from all typical autistic features, abnormal manifestations can cover only 2 of the 3 main vulnerable areas. Having a similar diagnosis of autism, children have a high chance of successful development and approaching the normotypical model
  • Rett syndrome: usually affects girls, the syndrome is not easy, often appears in early childhood, can lead to low functionality by the period of final adulthood (even with full corrective care).
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder: The first signs appear by 1.5-2 years and up to school. Clinically, it often looks like a regression of already mastered skills (divided attention, speech, motor skills).

These types of autism are of value in clinical diagnosis. However, for therapeutic purposes, correctional tasks, and for specialists who work to improve the quality of life and acquire skills of both a social nature and a household plan, an updated diagnosis according to the ICD is often not important, since it is not sufficiently informative about the patient’s current problems, stage development of the disease and its impact on a particular person. To simplify work in this area, it is customary to divide patients into the following forms of autism in children and adults: high-functioning and low-functioning. This is a certain scale, at one end of which are children with very severe impairments, pronounced symptoms, requiring help throughout their lives, and at the opposite end are highly functional children who have every chance of independence and compensation in adulthood. The place of a child or an adult on this line is indicated by a therapist, doctor, analyst, thereby indicating the level and direction of his development.

However, the division into these types of autism caused a resonance in the autistic society itself: non-verbal people on this scale are classified as low-functioning, but with their thinking, ability to communicate with the outside world, everything is in perfect order. This is because the criterion of functionality itself is deeply flawed, because it is based on the false premise that visible external behavior is tantamount to intelligence. As trite as it may sound, you need to move away from treating people by their appearance. Autism specialists should assume intelligence in everyone without exception.

Based on logical reasoning, ethical considerations and, nevertheless, the need to classify the degree of autism in children and adults, in modern and progressive society it is customary to divide not into clinical forms, but into the degree of need for support - from full and constant support of a person, partial guardianship, to complete independence.

When faced with an ASD diagnosis, it is important to remember that levels of functionality and associated symptoms may change with adequate therapy. And not just to change - gradually and carefully, but also to move from heavy to light.

Most studies agree that early intervention (before 3 years of age) with behavioral therapy, medication (if necessary), systematic sessions with correctional educators and a comprehensive approach significantly increase the child's chances of a normal life along with peers.

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