Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. Although the medical and scientific community tend to paint children with Autism and Aspergers with a broad, negative stroke, there are unparalleled positive qualities to these children that need mentioning. Being the parent or sibling of a child on the autism spectrum can release one from a lifetime of “should”—and offer a new world of “is.” Individuals on the spectrum possess a level of depth that many individuals off the spectrum do not have. Relationally, they are honest individuals who rarely lie or play head games, and they have fewer agendas. Autistic people are passionate, detail-oriented, intelligent, and individualistic. Many people on the spectrum are truly passionate about the things, ideas, and people in their lives. They spend the time, energy, and imagination necessary to truly master their area of interest, and they stick with it even when it’s difficult, frustrating, or “uncool.” Far from being an introverted bore, they have terrific memories, live in the moment, and enrich “neurotypicals” by having a positive impact on their perceptions, beliefs, and expectations.
For practical help with autism in your homeschool, check out this blog post.
There are three types of Autism:
Classic Autism – This is what most people think when hearing the word “autism.” People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual disability.
Asperger Syndrome – People with Asperger syndrome usually have some milder symptoms of autistic disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests. However, they typically do not have problems with language or any intellectual disability.
Pervasive Development Disorder – Also called “atypical” autism. People who meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome, but not all, may be diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. People with PDD-NOS usually have fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder. The symptoms might cause only social and communication challenges.