In recent years research has shown that there are basically different types of autism and even though it is a development disorder there are many levels in which it can be present within a person. Based on the symptoms of autism as to how mild it is in a child or adult or as to how severe it is these types are differentiated from each other.
Autistic Disorder is when the symptoms are extremely severe and can be seen at their worse in the child or the adult. The signs begin to show even before the child turns three as he or she is unable to smile even when he or she has aged six months or is unable to speak even after the completion of one whole year.
Later on, the child develops self-injurious tendencies which can be seen in both mild and violent forms. For instance, the child may develop habits of nail picking or coming in contact with a surface while rocking but among the violent habits are tendencies to bang the head against a hard surface repeatedly or severe arm biting.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
PDD or Pervasive Developmental Disorder is one type of autism which is often referred to as mild autism. In this particular condition one can find the mild symptoms of autism to be present in the child and unlike severe autism, the signs begin to show after the age of three and not before that.
The child is often seen to be unable to communicate with others and also is found to be socially inactive thus unable to make friends with the other children of the same age. The children with PDD have a tendency to repeat lines and phrases that they have heard before and they go through frequent mood swings even at a very early age when they tend to get very upset over trivial issues.
Asperser’s Syndrome is another type of autism in which the child displays a lack of social interaction skills. In this case, the child has no problems in learning to speak or any difficulty in understanding language unlike as seen in the other forms of autism.
Stereotyped behavior is, however, common in this case and the child is often seen to develop habits of constantly flapping hands or of constantly rocking to and fro or swinging and these are not tics but rather ritualistic.
Rett’s Syndrome is also classified as PDD and in this case, the child has problems in social interaction and communications but things usually begin to improve as they enter school life. Panic attacks, screaming fits, avoidance of eye-to-eye contact, sudden loss of speech – these are all very common symptoms of Rett’s.
Rett Syndrome is a rare neurodevelopment disorder and is a category of the autism spectrum disorder, a pervasive development disorder (PDD). PDDs are conditions that involve delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate and to use imagination.
Confirmation of the Rett Syndrome is done by a simple blood test to identify the mutation as well as a diagnosis based on observed signs and symptoms. Because this disorder involves the X chromosome, it affects girls almost exclusively.
This disorder causes brain function disability that can affect learning, speech, sensory sensations, mood, mobility, breathing, cardiac function, as well as the ability to chew, swallow and digest food.
The symptoms of Rett Syndrome appear after a period of normal development of six to 18 months when skill development slows or stops. The child then experiences a period of regression and loses communication skills and the purposeful use of her hands.
Next, she will often start to display hand motions typical of Rett Syndrome such as hand-wringing or clapping, have problems with gait and a noticeable slowing of her head growth rate. Other complications can include seizures, sleep problems, disorganized breathing patterns while awake, motor impairment, and in the early stages, a period of irritability and inconsolable crying which usually improves as she ages.
Like other PDDs, the severity of Rett Syndrome can vary greatly but with therapy and assistance, children with this disorder can enjoy educational and social opportunities throughout their lives.
Childhood disintegrative disorder
Childhood disintegrative disorder or Heller’s Syndrome is another development disorder which causes the child to be unable to learn a language quickly or to be able to socialize with others. Socializing, playing, motor functioning, control over bowel and bladder – these are some of the fields in which the child losses all the skills that he or she might have acquired in the first ten years of his or her life.
Childhood Disintegrative Syndrome is a rare disorder and is a category of the autism disorder spectrum, a pervasive development disorder (PDD). PDDs are conditions that involve delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate and to use imagination.
Childhood disintegrative syndrome is a condition in which children develop normally for at least the first two years of life and then experience a significant loss of social, communication, motor, and self-care skills. The loss of developmental milestones can occur abruptly over the course of days or weeks, or gradually over a longer period of time.
While the characteristics of childhood disintegrative syndrome are similar to those of “classic autism” and the condition is sometimes confused with late-onset autism, the occurrence of childhood disintegrative syndrome is rare and there is a more dramatic loss of skills and the likelihood of mental retardation is greater than in autism. Children with childhood disintegrative syndrome experience a significant loss of previously acquired skills in areas such as:
- The ability to speak and/or understand verbal and nonverbal communication
- Social interaction and/or play skills
- Motor function
- Bowel and bladder control
They may also engage in repetitive patterns of behavior such as motor mannerisms (i.e., hand flapping, rocking), adherence to routines and rituals, preoccupation with objects or activities or maintaining a fixed posture or body position.
There is no cure for childhood disintegrative syndrome and the loss of language, social and self-care skills usually results in severe disabilities. Behavior therapy and assistance from caregivers for the activities of daily living is necessary for those with this disorder.
Kanner’s Syndrome is a term which is rarely used today and it refers to nothing but the severe form of autism in which the child is seen to having almost no social skills even at the age of three and later on. It is in this case that the child develops repetitive behavior and tends to follow a regular routine like dressing the same every day and at the same time.
As the child grows it can develop into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, ADHD and proper diagnosis of each of these autism types are important to make sure that nothing gets more severe than what it already is.