Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a broad range of neurodevelopmental disorders. It affects 1 in 36 children in the US and can manifest itself in their behavior, communication, or social interactions. Some signs of autism are noticeable around 12 months old, but a child can get diagnosed at 24 months.
Some parents stay in denial at first, believing that their child is a late bloomer. However, acceptance is crucial so that treatment can begin sooner. If you’re parenting a child with autism, it helps to know the different types of autism.
This article covers the symptoms and challenges presented by each type of ASD. Read on to find out more.
Asperger’s Syndrome is one of the milder types of autism. Medical professionals refer to this as level 1 autism, but the term Asperger’s Syndrome is often used in autism communities. Children with level 1 spectrum disorder are intelligent and have strong verbal skills.
However, they may find it difficult to navigate social situations. Children may experience delayed motor development or have a hard time expressing themselves. They may also find it hard to switch between activities, thoughts, and behaviors.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
CDD is the rarest and most severe end of the autism spectrum. Your child may experience normal development, only to hit a wall at 3-4 years of age. After that, they start to regress and lose their developmental milestones.
Children with CDD may lose their motor, social, and toileting skills. They may also forget established vocabularies or languages. Epilepsy is also more common in children with CDD.
This can be incredibly heartbreaking for parents who thought their child was developing well.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder
Pervasive Developmental Disorder is a mild form of autism. Diagnosis of PDD includes people who have displayed some signs of autism, but not all of them. Children living with PDD may experience challenges in language and social development.
Some early symptoms include delays in walking and other motor skills. Children with PDD may also avoid eye contact or have trouble controlling their emotions. Some children will also develop tics, like rocking or twirling.
Kanner’s Syndrome is more commonly known as “classic” autism. This is often what people picture when they hear the word “autism.” Children with Kanner’s Syndrome often seem like they have no interest in the world around them.
They may have little desire to interact with new people and rely on routine. Symptoms may include little to no eye contact or challenges communicating their feelings. They may find it hard to understand others and are sometimes hypersensitive to stimuli.
Parenting a Child With Autism
Every parent expects their child to be happy and healthy. It can be frightening to hear that your child was diagnosed with autism. However, as a parent, there are plenty of things you can do to help your child overcome these challenges.
Be patient and accept your child for who they are. It also helps to take the time to learn more about autism so you can make informed decisions. You can also enroll your child in a special school to give them extra support.
Click for Oak Hill Academy to learn more about its student-focused approach.
The Different Types of Autism
Now you know the different types of autism. A better understanding of ASD can make you better equipped to support your child through their needs. Check out our other blog posts for more parenting tips for children living with autism.