According to the Centers for Disease Control, rates of autism among American children have grown exponentially since 2012. Whereas before one in 88 children were diagnosed with autism, an estimated one in 68 American children are now considered autistic. That’s a growth of 30% over two-years.
If you have suspicions that your child might be autistic, you should take them to your general practitioner straight away. Using the autism spectrum, your doctor can help you determine whether or not your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and they can advise you on your next steps.
What is the Autism Spectrum?
If you find yourself asking “what is the autism spectrum,” you should know that you’re not alone. Quite simply, the autism spectrum, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is a spectrum of symptoms, skills, and talents doctors use to diagnose ASD. While some children have mild signs of ASD, others experience severe disabilities.
Common Types of Autism
No answer to “what is the autism spectrum” would be complete without addressing some of the different types of autism along the scale. Common types of autism, as detailed by Parents, include but are not limited to:
- Asperger’s Syndrome – Asperger’s Syndrome is often referred to as a mild form of autism. It isn’t known to inhibit language skills and often comes with the perk of above average intelligence. However, children with Asperger’s are often socially inept and engage in repetitive behavior.
- Autistic Disorder – When people speak of autism, they usually mean Autistic Disorder. Characterized by problems with speech, social ineptitude, repetitive behaviors, and inability to connect with their peers, AD usually becomes evident by age three.
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – CDD is a rare, severe form of autism. Usually noticeable by age four, CDD is characterized by the sudden loss of motor skills, communication ability, and social skills. Further, children frequently become incontinent.
Where to Find Help for Children with Autism
If your child receives a diagnosis along the autism scale, there are many special needs schools, teachers, and other organizations out there who are waiting to help. As WebMD writes, government organizations like the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke may be able to provide treatment to improve your child’s condition. However, your first step should always be to talk to your doctor. What schools for children with autism does she recommend? What does she say is the next step?
As autism continues to become more common, parents, like you, need to take steps to better educate themselves on the issue. Use this guide in your own life, but be sure to share it with friends and family; you’ll be doing them a huge favor. More information like this.