Not so long ago there was only one term used to diagnose someone with an autism spectrum disorder. Nowadays there are different subtypes of autism used when diagnosing someone with an autism disorder.
There are many forms of autism and not 2 people with this disorder are alike. With some people, you will not even notice they have a form of autism because they are functioning well in society. With others, it is easy noticing that there is something wrong and that they need help in functioning wherever possible. There is a large amount of research on this topic and undoubtedly more forms, signs and symptoms will be found and hopefully also a cure.
This article will lay out 5 forms of autism that are used when diagnosing someone with a disorder in the autism spectrum.
In recent years you hear more and more about this condition. It is very hard to diagnose these children and they are often misdiagnosed with ADHD or Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Most often they are highly intelligent and verbally well developed. They seem to excel in some talent and get rather preoccupied with it. However, they are often clumsy in how they move because their motor skills are undeveloped. They are also not always able to empathize with other persons and think very rationally.
This is the classic autistic disorder – the classic one that most people know of. Dr. Kanner was the first doctor who described this disorder around 1930. A person with Kanner syndrome is not able to empathize with anyone. They do not recognize facial expressions like smiling or crying. They live in their own world and are very neurotic about it in that they want everything to be the same. They have to do a daily routine that must be the same. If the routine is different than they will scream or become violent to themselves or to objects. These persons often have trouble functioning in society because they are very poor at communicating.
PDD-NOS Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified
The symptoms are most often almost the same as autism and therefore it is very difficult to tell the difference between PDD-NOS and autism.
This is a very rare condition mostly found in young girls. The main symptoms are repetitive hand motions and muscle atrophy. Mostly they are less advanced in mental, physical, or social development than is usual for one’s age and this makes them highly dependent for help their entire life.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
This is a very rare condition just like Rett’s syndrome. These children have normal development until 3 or 4 years old. After that, they will start to regress in development and. They will have problems at interacting with other children and are not able to potty train. Their verbal skills will also regress until they will not speak anymore.
There are more forms of autism to be described but these five are the most common ones. Autism is a serious condition and most of the time these children will need help for the rest of their life.