New developments and consistent research show that we know more about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) now than ever have before. With one in 68 children and 3.5 million total Americans having ASD, many parents and guardians turn to applied behavior analysis for treatment. Many ABA therapists often stress the importance of doing your research first on autism centers and the services they provide for the different types of ASD. To help you better understand these different types, here are three types you should know.
Found as one of the most highly-functioning types of autism, people suffering from Asperger’s seem either average or above-average to most who don’t know their condition. While they have great intelligence and excellent memory, they often lack in areas of communication and social integration. For this reason, Asperger’s is part of the autism spectrum disorders.
People with Asperger’s tend to enjoy routine things, are sensitive to environmental stimuli, and are unable to be empathetic to other people’s feelings. They are not good with picking up on social cues and often have difficulty interacting with peers as a result. The difference between this disorder and others on the spectrum is that people with Asperger’s often seek interaction, but have trouble being successful at it.
Autism is the most common of all autism spectrum disorders. Many people are not aware of the fact that there are two parts to autism. If a child appears to have an abnormal development rate before the age of three, there may be cause for concern, as it could signify that the child may have autism.
The second part requires observation of abnormal behavior when engaged in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behavior that is stereotyped. Sometimes a child may become obsessed with a particular object, collection of facts, or repetitive action for no real reason. In some cases, children may not want to be touched and do not have an interest interacting with others. Similarly, those with autism are also sensitive to touch, sounds, and smells.
Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
As you may have guessed from the name, this disorder does not fall into the same categories as the other spectrum and can vary greatly. It is often referred to as a milder form of autism and is often called atypical autism. People with this disorder also tend to be highly functional, but are delayed in their childhood development. Since they have many attributes of both Asperger’s and autism, it is difficult to target specific symptoms.
Now that you know a little more about ASD and their symptoms, you can now begin to consider if ABA therapy is the right form of treatment for your child or loved one. Many autism centers in Michigan will tell you that studies have shown that half of those who receive ABA therapy prior to turning four show vast improvement in several areas. These include increased IQ, better verbal skills, and improved social functioning and interaction. Consult with an ABA therapist to find out what the best course of action is for your child to help them feel more comfortable in their daily lives.