Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is an all-encompassing term that refers to all qualifying developmental disorders, which fall under the symptomatic guidelines of mild to severe autism. Because autism disorder varies greatly in presentation from child to child, there are is wide range and variation of symptoms, skill levels and disability levels that can occur.
The term ASD was developed to account for the entire spectrum of symptoms and common overlap between diagnoses. These disorders typically affect three main aspects of an individual, challenging them socially, behaviorally and with communication.
The CDC estimates that about one in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder.
What does ASD look like?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) characterizes ASD by impairments that include:
- Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
When a child has ASD, symptoms are typically exhibited in the young years of life – often before the child is two years old. NIMH also believes that individuals that fall on the spectrum can experience symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment socially, occupationally or other areas functionally.
Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Because there is so much fluidity in the autism spectrum, there are few specifically identified disorders, which are also becoming more vague. A few of those specified disorders that are commonly referred to include:
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Asperger’s syndrome is the most mild form of autism. It’s symptoms cause obsession with a particular object or topic, combined with a lack of physical coordination and social skills.
- Nonverbal learning disorders
- Nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD OR NLD) is an often undiagnosed developmental disorder that affects the nonverbal domains of understanding and interaction. Those with NLD are highly verbal, and often extremely intelligent exhibiting advanced vocabulary, reading ability and recollection at a young age.
- Pervasive development delay
- Pervasive development delay applies to kids who are more severe on the spectrum, but not as severe as the full autism disorder. WebMD describes those with pervasive development delay as generally having an onset later in childhood, poor social skills, repetitive behaviors and language skills.
“It is never too late to expand the mind of a person on the autism spectrum.” – Temple Grandin
blueFire offers alternative solutions and treatment
If your 13-17 year old child has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and has been struggling with negative behavior or communication, it might be time to seek out resources for help. blueFire Wilderness Therapy strives to help your child’s soft and hard skills, as well as the entire family through the utilization of the therapeutic benefits of the great outdoors. Your family will receive a highly individualized and comprehensive treatment plan with the help of our experienced staff and multidisciplinary treatment team. At blueFire, your child will get the help they need and have the opportunity to discover and work toward their fullest potential.
Call blueFire today for more information, at 884-413-1999. We look forward to hearing from you!