Knowing the meaning of ASD is a critical part of living in the modern world — Here’s everything you need to know about ASD!
Over the past several decades, many people have been researching what mental health looks like for people in the world. Understanding how other people’s minds are wired can help create a better version of daily life for people who see the world differently.
Especially among adolescents and young children in early childhood, learning about mental conditions is an essential task when making society a healthy and safe place for everyone.
One of the most common and misunderstood conditions today is ASD. It can affect many aspects of people’s lives, including social communication, language skills, and developmental timelines. As such, it’s massively important to know how to best serve people with ASD and understand how they think so that we help them to achieve their life goals.
This is what ASD is, how it affects people in the world today, and how to serve people with this condition in the best way possible!
What Is ASD?
The acronym ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is a condition that is most commonly identified by various social and internal behaviors, including aversion to eye contact, repetitive behaviors, and an inability to have everyday social interactions. These kinds of behaviors have led many people to explore what it means to be autistic and how to help these people live a normal and fruitful life.
The reason why autism is based on a spectrum is because it is different for almost everyone. People’s symptoms and behaviors tend to vary widely. Signs of autism show up differently for people in different social situations and ages, and autism can have varying impacts on people’s lives. Some more common variations of ASD include Asperger syndrome, Autistic disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and APA (American Psychiatric Association) have been studying ASD extensively for many years. While many causes, symptoms, and signs of ASD have been identified, people who study psychiatry are still learning new things about ASD every day.
What Does ASD Look Like?
While there are countless variations and intensity levels of ASD, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) has developed a few specific ways to diagnose this condition.
Here are some signs and symptoms of ASD to look out for, primarily when focusing on early intervention:
- Impairment in social skills
- Showing facial expressions that don’t match a situation
- Having body language that doesn’t fit what they are trying to communicate
- Having a deep and intense focus and interest in particular topics and subjects
- Having trouble understanding multiple perspectives
- Being unresponsive when a caregiver is saying their name
- Making little or no eye contact
As studies have gone on, researchers have found many causes of ASD. THere are some of the most common causes of ASD in children and adults:
- Being born to older parents
- Having various genetic conditions, including fragile X syndrome
- Having complications at birth or a low birth weight
- Having siblings or family members with ASD
- Trouble in neurodevelopmental history
- Various environmental factors
While some people believe that vaccinations cause ASD, that belief has been universally debunked by many professional studies, healthcare professionals, and researchers.
ASD has shown up in many different ways and can often be misdiagnosed by people who aren’t professionals. Some people on the autistic spectrum have been identified as having ADHD, high-functioning autism, or other intellectual conditions. If you or anyone you know thinks that they are experiencing symptoms or is seeing symptoms in someone they know, reach out to a healthcare professional.
Treatment for ASD
Many organizations, pediatrics groups, and health providers such as Autism Speaks and NIH (National Institutes of Health) have developed a guidelines to help treat and manage an autism diagnosis. Here are some standard methods that help when pediatricians are treating ASD:
- Social skills training is done within the contexts of either a group or individual situation, depending on the need of the person.
- Medication can help decrease the prevalence of some negative symptoms.
- Training for parents on how to communicate with their children in the most constructive and beneficial way can help their children throughout their lives.
- Occupational therapy can sometimes be the best step for people with ASD who struggle with deficits in specific skills and social situations.
- Speech therapy can help people with ASD reach milestones in communication that might take a little longer for them than for other people.
If ASD is just one of many acronyms that you don’t know, then it might be good to look around our blog here at The Word Counter! We’re constantly posting new articles and blogs based on increasing and enhancing people’s understanding of the English Language and its intricacies. It’s not always easy to understand new phrases and words as they keep entering the world — but with the help of our blog, it’s possible for anyone!
Even just taking a couple of minutes to look around some of our articles can give you some precious information and knowledge on using language to your advantage. The Word Counter is here to help make sure people can use new words to their advantage, and this blog is how we make it happen!