When you come across a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is often supplemented with decoding by severity. It is not surprising that a person far from neurology finds it difficult to get through the system of terms to quickly understand what each of the words in the diagnosis means in practice.
We suggest you to understand what syndromes inside the ASD are allocated and what severity levels are diagnosed. The characteristics of each of these disorders of the autistic spectrum can be described as follows:
The Asperger syndrome is distinguished by a fairly high intelligence in the presence of a developed spontaneous speech. Most of these patients are capable of active communication and social life, including using speech. Many doctors experience difficulties with diagnosis, because high functionality obscures the problem, and the manifestations of the disease can be perceived as an extreme version of the norm or an accentuation of the individual.
Classical autism (Kanner’s syndrome) is characterized by the completeness of the clinical picture, when there are distinct signs of anomalies in the three spheres of higher nervous activity (social interaction, communication, behavior). In terms of severity, this species varies considerably - from light to extremely heavy.
Nonspecific pervasive developmental disorder (atypical autism): the disorder reveals itself not by all typical autistic features, abnormal manifestations can cover only 2 of the 3 main vulnerable areas.
Rett Syndrome Rett syndrome: the syndrome is not easy to deal with, often occurs in younger children, can lead to low functionality by the time of final growth (even with full corrective care).
Children’s Disintegrative Disorder Children’s disintegrative disorder: the first signs appear at 1.5-2 years and up to the school. Clinically often it looks like a regress of already mastered skills (divided attention, speech, motor skills).
HOW IS THE LEVEL OF FUNCTIONALITY DETERMINED?
Most often, we read a description of autism with the words “spectrum of signs.” Relying on the word “spectrum” it is much easier to understand the full breadth of possible scenarios of the disease, as well as the outcomes of development by the time of the final growing up of a person with autism.
High functionality implies the ability to lead an independent life, being an adult. A person with an average level of functionality can often perform regime self-service, but does not have a well-developed speech and communication, or has not high enough intelligence, which limits opportunities for employment and communication with others.
Low-functional autism implies the lack of full self-service even in simple routine moments (cooking, cleaning, dressing) and the lack of speech as a means of communication. Plus to this as expressed, as in childhood, there are bright signs of autism - the absence of eye contact and divided attention.
If you are experiencing ASD for the first time (because of problems with your child or in yourself), it makes sense from time to time, during the course of treatment and corrective therapy, to undergo an age-appropriate test.