Autism Spectrum Disorders: What are the Symptoms and Treatments of All Types of Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders seems to be rising and is becoming a widely known mental impairment. Autism is a developmental disorder that is first seen in children three years old and it affects the development of the brain by impairing social and communication skills. Different kinds of autism disorders include Aspergers Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Parents need to be aware of signs and symptoms in their children in their toddler years. If they see some comparison in the signs and symptoms they should start treating it effectively. 

Aspergers Syndrome

Aspergers Syndrome is a less severe case of autism, they usually show social awkwardness with lack of social and communication skills and usually absorb themselves into one interest. Symptoms could include one sided conversations without the other person paying attention, unusual nonverbal communication, having an obsession with only one to two interests. Cannot be empathetic in anyway, cannot read other people’s facial expressions or emotions, monotone voice, poor coordination, and very clumsy. They have trouble forming peer groups or having relationships with adults and are very precise about routines. Also they show delays in motor development such as riding a bike or climbing things and show repetitive behavior. Some signs could include abnormal eye contact, not able to recognize name when called, not able to recognize gestures when being made, and barely any play with anyone. Parents can start to see this in their children starting in the first few months of birth and it will be completely present by the age of three. There is no cure for Aspergers but there are treatments to help the disorder and the sooner you start the treatments the better the results will be. There are mental therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy to help control emotions, consistent behaviors, and obsessions. Parent can learn things that they can teach their children in the home. Physical and occupational therapies to help with motor skills. Social skills usually taught in a group and language and speech therapy to help hold on day to day conversations. There are also certain medications that can be used like antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants. 

Autism Puzzle Piece
Autism Puzzle Piece

Rett Syndrome

Rett Syndrome can be a mild to severe case of autism depending on the patient, this disorder resides in the nervous system that develops into developmental rehearsals, mostly in areas of language and hand use. This disorder mostly diagnosed in girls and can be misdiagnosed as regular autism or cerebral palsy. The symptoms include apraxia which is a disorder when people are unable to perform tasks or movements when asked. Breathing problems, changes in normal development, irregular amount of drool or saliva, floppy arms and legs, intellectual and learning difficulties. Scoliosis, shaky or unsteady posture, seizures, head growth starts to slow down after five to six months, loss of normal sleep patterns. Loss of regular hand movements, loose engagement in social communication, constipation or acid reflux, poor circulation, and severe language development problems. Genetic testing is usually done to see if there is a defect in the genes to make a true diagnosis of Rett Syndrome. There are different types of this disorder such as atypical which is when it appears in boys which is very rare,the speech and hand skills are mild, and symptoms start soon after birth. Classical is when it meets all the regular diagnosis signs and symptoms. Provisional is when the symptoms start to appear around the ages of one to three. Treatments usually are a lot more hands on with assistance of feeding and changing diapers. Treating any gastrointestinal problems, physical therapy to help the hands from contracting, and weight exercises to help alleviate scoliosis. Feeding tubes maybe necessary if patients inhale their food and they might need high calorie foods to help gain weight and height. Medications and supplements like carbamazepine which is a seizure medication, L-carnitine which helps improve language, muscle mass, energy, alertness, decreases constipation and drowsiness during the day. L-dopa for motor issue in later stages of the disorder. Stem cell or gene therapy alone or in combination may also be a way of treating the problem. Parents should be able to notice signs of this disorder after the first eighteen months but be aware that the development is normal from the first six to eighteen months.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is a strange disorder where a child develops normally until the ages of three or four then over a sequence of a few months they lose all language, motor, and social skills that have already been learned. Symptoms can include delay or barely any language spoken, nonverbal impairment, cannot create or keep a conversation, lack of play, barely any control over bowels or bladder. Loss of language, communication, motor, or social skills. Problems creating relationships with peers or family. Most important sign of this disorder is the loss of all developmental milestones that were learned the first couple of years of life. Diagnosis is usually made if at least two or more areas of development have been lost. All the same treatments for autism work for Childhood Disintegrative Disorder but also steroid treatment can slow the progression of this disorder.

Autism Puzzle Piece
Autism Puzzle Piece

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Pervasive Developmental Disorder or mostly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder there are a very wide range of symptoms when it comes to this disorder, the disease can range from moderate to severe. Most children have difficult with imagination play, social interaction, and any kind of interactions. Communication symptoms could include cannot create or keep a conversation, uses gestures instead of words, develops language slower then normal, usually does not point to direct attention, repeats words or memorizes phrases, or starts rhyming nonsense. Social interaction symptoms has no friends, cannot play interactive games, withdrawn from the group, maybe will not respond with symbols like eye contact or smiles. Treat others as objects, would rather be alone then with others, and a decrease in empathy. Sensory symptoms does not startle easily, either has higher or lower senses, finds normal noises painful, physical contact maybe overwhelming, rubs or licks stuff, and high or low pain receptors. Play symptoms does not copy peers or adults, prefers individual play, and shows little imagination. Behavior symptoms has many tantrums, gets stuck on one topic or task, short attention span, not many interests, shows aggressive behaviors towards themselves or others. Some other signs to pay attention to are babbling or gesturing by a year old. Saying only one words by 16 months, saying two words phrases by the age of two. There is a possibility of losing any language and/or social skills at any given age or time. 

Autism Puzzle Piece
Autism Puzzle Piece

There are many different treatments of Autism Spectrum Disorder and all are very effective and some are questionable. The only questionable treatment would be the vaccines that you can give your child which may not help with autism at all. But there are non invasive treatments that are different and specific for each and every patient. Applied Behavior Analysis is learning and understanding how to control the behavior through its environment. Medications for behavior and emotional issues. Occupational, physical, and speech-language therapy. TEACCH or Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children. This program helps not just autistic patients but any mentally impaired people to learn how to do things independently. They also learn how to build up their social and verbal skills by communicating with people who are just like them. All mentally impaired people get educated in these TEACCH programs and these TEACCH programs are also coming into public education schools. This is one of the most effective treatments because teachers help their students with real life situations and help them with simple elementary skills like spelling, writing, and math. There is still no absolute cure for autism and it does stick to patients for the rest of their lives but all of these treatments are very effective. 

All young parents of infants need to be educated about all of the signs and symptoms of autism because there are causes but any child could get autism and it is important to be aware. The symptoms and treatments for Aspergers Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Being educated on these symptoms makes treatment easier at a younger age for autism so the sooner parents notice symptoms the sooner children can be treated for any kind of autism disorder. Autism is a manageable mental impairment that is possible to be treated and will be more advanced in treatments each and every year. 

Works Cited

  • Board, A.D.A.M. Editorial. “Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors.” Autism. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Nov. 0000. Web. 31 Mar. 2012. <http:// pubmedhealth/PMH0002494/>. 
  • Burack, Jacob A. Development of Autism: Perspectives From Theory and Research. L. Erlbaum 2001.
  • eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 26 Mar. 2012.
  • Children and Adolescents Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Comparison to Typically Developing Children and Adolescents.” Journal of Developmental & Physical Disabilities 22.5 (2010): 485-496. Academic Search Complete. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.
  • Goehner, Amy Lennard. “Guide For Parents.” Time. Time, 06 May 2002. Web. 31 Mar. 2012. <,9171,312854,00.html>.
  • Jill Fodstad, et al. “Trend of Symptoms in Children Diagnosed with Autistic Disorder as Measured by the Autism Spectrum Disorders-Diagnostic for Children (ASD-DC).” Journal of Developmental & Physical Disabilities 22.1 (2010): 47-56. Academic Search Complete. Web. 31 Mar. 2012. 

Posted on March 29, 2022

Posted in Autism