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Autism in daily life part 2

300-3What causes Autism?

If one would Google the question, "What causes autism"?, the list of causes would be endless.

I will give my view, based on research and experience, in two or three segments. First, what is a spectrum disorder; second, I will mention the three forms of autism, followed by a brief explanation of what these three forms are, and finally I will go on to clarify what we think causes it.

Autism is a spectrum disorder.

To understand what a spectrum means, I like to imagine the school rulers we used in class as children many years ago. Do you remember the heavy-duty wooden ones? The ones with the threefold duty of measuring, drawing straight lines, and meting out quick, sharp, stinging blows to those of us who were constantly getting into trouble! Who could forget?

This ruler has lines and numbers. The milder forms of autism would be at the start (left) with the lower numbers, and the more severe cases at the end with the highest numbers (right). Autism is of course one disorder, (one ruler), and all on the spectrum from left to right are faced with social challenges! The many vertical lines in between describe the fact that they are all still very diverse individuals. One person with autism is not like another person with autism. This makes it so difficult to detect and research. I will gradually explain this on a weekly basis, so please do not miss a segment.

When dealing with autism daily, the main concern is never what causes it, one just needs to get through the day and hopefully without any meltdowns. However, I needed to know what the main cause or causes are. If there is a cause, then there must be a cure.

Why are some claiming that they only noticed symptoms after their babies had their immunization shots, while others believe it is simply genetics, recognizing certain patterns in their families and even cultures!

So far, there are three known forms of autism:

Asperger syndrome, PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified), and Classic autism.

End segment one

Classic autism is obvious, and it is the most serious and severe form of autism. Those on the extreme right end of the spectrum (my ruler) can be hypersensitive and avoid contact with others, can have problems speaking, or never learn to speak at all, problems with behavior, and from as early as infancy, parents and teachers can notice something different about this child.

Asperger syndrome is different. Folks with Asperger syndrome are on the extreme left of my ruler and are not easy to recognize. They can go their entire lives undiagnosed. Their intelligence is average to very high, and usually folks with Asperger syndrome do not need a diagnosis, because they can function relatively well in society. This form of autism is also known as "hidden" autism. Why then should it even be mentioned, you might ask? Well, herein dwells my specialty with autism based on decades of experience and study. Together we will learn and understand why it is important to know about this "hidden" form of autism, known as Asperger syndrome, which is more prevalent among us than we may realize. Stay tuned!

PDD-NOS on my imagination ruler, falls dead in the middle. They have neither Aspergers (left) or Classic autism (right).They are neither fish, nor fowl. However, they do show clear signs of autism. Sometimes mild to no symptoms in some areas, and in other areas extreme trouble with language development and social skills.

"PDD-NOS is characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may notice associated behaviors as early as infancy. These may include delays in using and understanding language, difficulty relating to people, unusual play with toys and other objects, difficulty with changes in routine or surroundings and repetitive body movements or behavior patterns" (website AUTISM SPEAKS )

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Friday Oct. 16, 2015
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