The autism spectrum is a developmental and behavioral syndrome that comes from certain combinations of traits. The spectrum ranges from low functioning autism to normal to high functioning autism to hyper-socialization. Many people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders end up in a life of poverty.
The autism spectrum is a pervasive developmental disorder, which means that it affects many areas of function such as language, communication, self-help skills, motor coordination, and scholastic achievement.
There are several traits one should look for to correctly diagnose autism spectrum disorders. These traits include no desire for -- or inability -- to make friends, social awkwardness, lack of eye contact, and gullibility.
The language traits to look for when diagnosing autism spectrum include odd or monotone speech, overly formal language, use of rote chunks of language, as well as the poor use and understanding of non-verbal language.
There are also certain imaginative traits associated with autistic spectrum. These can include literal use of language, the preference for routine, absorption in detail and poor understanding of abstract thought.
Individuals with autism spectrum also may exhibit hyper- or hypo- sensitivity of the senses, odd clothing and food preferences, as well as fine or gross motor coordination.
The number and frequency of the above traits determine the severity of autism spectrum. Some of the above are beneficial in disciplines like science, math, and engineering because these disciplines require rote memorization. Some autistics have become quite proficient in these subjects.
Link with ADHD?
Some experts see a link in other disorders and autism spectrum. For example, ADHD has been shown to have a genetic as well as behavioral link to autistic spectrum. Some experts suggest that ADHD should be put in the categories listed under autistic spectrum disorders.
It is not uncommon to have children diagnosed with both ADHD and autism spectrum together. In children, the two disorders seem very similar. However, as the individuals age, the disorders become more visibly different. Children who grow up with ADHD can sometimes develop normal social and communication skills as they grow up. However, with autism spectrum disorders, children will continue to show symptoms even as they age.
We still have a lot to learn about the autism spectrum. Even with advances in technology and medicine, there still is no cure for the disorder. The more we learn, however, the more we will understand the disorder and we will be prepared to help anyone who is diagnosed.