What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is not just a childhood condition; it’s a lifelong one. One out of every 68 children is affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the U.S. alone, and the numbers of those diagnosed have steadily increased over the last 20 years. There is no known single cause.

Although there is no cure for autism, its symptoms are treatable—and sometimes overcome—through early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment. Screenings can be conducted by a counseling professional or organization specializing in autism spectrum disorders in Salt Lake City and the surrounding metro area.

The Spectrum

Pervasive developmental disorders, or PDD, comprise a group of five neurological disorders characterized by severe developmental impairment, often referred to as autism spectrum disorders.

  • Rett’s disorder or Rett syndrome
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder
  • Asperger syndrome
  • PDD—Not otherwise specified (PDD)
  • Autism

While some of those diagnosed with ASD may show gifted capabilities in some areas, they may also show severe difficulty in others. They may exhibit several of the ASD behaviors, a few, or only one. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, persistent viral infections, and sleeping disorders are a few of the other conditions experienced by children with ASD.

Symptoms

ASD symptoms vary widely with each individual but are marked by social and cognitive impairments, communication difficulties, and repetitive behaviors, including one or more of the following, although this names only a few of the symptoms:

  • A child may not respond to his or her name.
  • They may have no speech or limited speech.
  • Minor changes may upset them.
  • Flapping of hands, rocking, or spinning in circles is common.
  • Avoids eye contact with others.

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