Do you know that the abilities and needs can be different and they can evolve over time?
Yes, as per WHO, some people with autism can live independently while others have severe disabilities and need care and support lifelong.
That’s because there are different types of autism and the amount of support and care needed by an autistic person depends on which type of it they have.
In fact, the diagnosis is made on the amount of support needed.
Now, let‘s know about the different types of autism and the treatment options for them.
What are the different types of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
Until a short time ago, professionals used to discuss various forms of autism, including autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). However, they are now collectively called “autism spectrum disorders.”
Let’s learn about all 5 of them in detail.
1. Asperger syndrome:
As said above, this term was used before 2013 but now it has been classified under ASD. People with Asperger syndrome perform well in school but they have problem with social communication and their behavior are inflexible and repetitive.
Symptoms of Asperger syndrome are the following:
- They may take a lot of time thinking and talking about a topic and they perform a restrictive set of activities.
- They have difficulty grasping facial expressions, gestures, and language.
- Their hobbies are obsessive in nature and as a result, their daily activities are affected.
- They get irritated even with slight changes in their routine and they feel difficulty in controlling their emotions.
2. Rett syndrome
Rett syndrome is a disease affecting a girl child and 1 in 1000 girls are affected by this disease. Rett syndrome is detected when the girl fails to achieve the desired developmental milestone. Its symptoms are the following:
- Loss of muscle tone
- Reduction in head size
- Impairment in speech
- Involuntary hand movements
- Difficulty in breathing and sleeping
- Abnormal curvature of the spine
3. Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD)
It is a rare condition and is classified under ASD. It is mainly seen at the age of 3. Due to this disease, there will be a loss of previously gained physical and mental skills like motor functions and verbal abilities.
CDD is a type of childhood dementia where there is an accumulation of amyloid in the brain.
The symptoms of CDD are the following:
- The children who had started talking may suddenly stop talking because of their inability to develop verbal communication.
- Problem in emotional development.
- The children also may report hallucinations.
- They can lose bowel control and self-care abilities.
- Playing abilities are also affected.
- Language skills do not develop further.
- Children with CDD will have problems in communication and will develop repetitive behavior.
4. Kanner’s syndrome
Children with Kanner’s syndrome may appear attentive and smart but they have underlying traits of the disorder including:
- Obsession with object handling
- Difficulty in speech
- Lack of emotional attachment
- Loss of memory and visual skills
- Learning disabilities may also be observed.
5. Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
When the diagnostic criteria for autism is not fulfilled then the diagnosis of PDD-NOS is made. Children with PDD-NOS have milder symptoms of autism. Symptoms of PDD-NOS include:
- Repetitive actions
- Communicational problem
- Problems in social behavior
- Development of improper sensory cognitive motor and visual and organizational skills.
What are treatment options for Autism?
Treatment options for ASD may include:
1. Behavioural therapy:
This therapy helps to improve the communication of the children and improve their cognitive and emotional skills.
A reward is given to the child when he performs any task with success and slowly the child starts developing better skills and behavior.
2. Speech Therapy:
This will help to teach emotions and verbal skills to the child. The use of emotional cards is made to help the child understand and speak out the content of the emotional card given to them.
3. Family Therapy:
In this therapy, all the family members are asked to utter their names so that the child remembers their names and calls them to make social contact.
The therapists will try to assess the rate of development in emotional, social, cognitive, and sensory skills in the children using special performance indicators.
Depending on the symptoms, sometimes the children are prescribed anti-depressants and anti-psychotics to relieve their symptoms.
5. Stem cell therapy:
Stem cell therapy is beneficial for autistic children as it can help to develop the neuronal circuit in the brain and aid in fighting against hyperstimulation from different stimuli.
It is important to know the type of autism in your child as that will help you decide which treatment option you should opt for. Remember, stem cell therapy can also be effective against severe forms of autism when the child has very less social, verbal, emotional, and cognitive abilities.
Stem cells are transferred to the cerebrospinal fluid from the bone marrow and they develop into fully functional neurons. These cells can differentiate into neuronal cells and develop brain circuits which can help the child to understand various stimuli like sound, light, texture, space, and smell.
MedicoExperts is a global virtual hospital with 24*7 care for patients. The global virtual hospital has a panel of expert neurologists and stem cell therapists who can consult multiple times before the therapy and can take effective care post-therapy. The hospital always helps you to make the right decision when you are confused about the right treatment option.
Q1. What is the mildest type of autism?
Asperger’s syndrome is the mildest form of autism with the children being able to perform daily activities.
Q2. Can autism improve with age?
Symptoms of autistic disorder can drastically improve with age if proper treatment is started from an early age.