March 23, 2015
Naugatuck Valley Community College
One in 1000 children in America is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, with greater prevalence among boys (Tower, 2013). The Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as ASD, are characterized by the difficulties with social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder also have difficulty understanding and using the rules governing social behaviors. “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.” When the new DSM-5 came out in May 2013, “all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD (What is Autism?, Autism Speaks)”. ASD is apprised of many different disorders. Such as, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger Syndrome (What is Autism?, Autism Speaks).
The Autism Spectrum Disorder shows up many different ways. There are many symptoms that come with diagnosing children with ASD. These consist of basic social interaction, problems with speech and language comprehension, and are often restricted, rigid, and even at times obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests (Smith, 2014). Many of the basic social interaction symptoms include: avoiding eye contact or using facial expressions that don’t match what they are saying, lack of interest in other people or in sharing interests or achievements, more likely to come off as detached and prefers to be alone, difficulties understand other people’s feelings and lack of ability to make friends. Many symptoms come from the speech and language comprehension side of things. Some of these signs would include: delay in learning how to speak around the age of two or lack of speech in general, repeating words or phrases over and over without communicative intent, trouble starting and keeping a conversation, difficulty expressing their needs through communication, and taking everything too literally without the understanding of sarcasm, humor, and irony.
The last set of symptoms would be that they are often rigid, restricted and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities and interests. These include; repetitive body movements like hand flapping, constantly moving, an obsessive attachment to unusual objects like keys, preoccupation with a specific interest normally involving numbers or symbols like sports statistics, a strong need for routine and same environment, and an obsessive fascination with spinning objects or moving pieces like spinning wheels on a toy truck (Smith, 2014). ASD can be diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, difficulties in motor coordination, and major to moderate difficulties with attention spans. There are also physical health issues that sometimes come along with ASD. These health issue include sleep problems and gastrointestinal problems. Many people within the spectrum tend to be exceptional within the visual arts, music and math. Some people who are well known to prove this would be; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Tim Burton, Marty Balin, and Lewis Carroll.
According to the DSM-V (2013) to diagnose ASD:
Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication. Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from