Abstract Autism is a very unique disorder in that no two individuals with the disability are identical with regard to signs and symptoms. Because there is such variety in the behavior and level of functioning with this disability, there are several other diagnosis under the umbrella of Autism to include: Asperger’s disorder, Rett’s disorder, Fragile X Syndrome, Child Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Development Disorder NOS. All of these disorders have similar characteristics; however, there are also so very distinct differences between them. Research shows that the world of Autism is changing but still has a long way to go.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is characterized by qualitative impairments in social interaction, communication, and behavior patterns and activities that are repetitive, restrictive, and stereotypic (Manning-Courtney, et. Al. 2013). Under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum disorder lies several other disorders that are characterized by similar impairments. These disorders are identified as Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Childhood Disintegrative disorder, Rett Syndrome, and Fragile X Syndrome. To be diagnosed as being on the spectrum versus having autism indicates that the individual exhibits enough of the characteristics on the autism spectrum to receive a formal developmental diagnosis; however, they do not exhibit enough of the characteristics for it to be labeled “autism.” An example would be a child that displays qualitative impairments in social interaction and communication but does not exhibit any repetitive, restrictive, or stereotypic patterns in his or her behaviors or activities.
Autism is usually manifested during early toddler stages. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is recommended that “all children be screened for
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