Commonly known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASD), these are the range of autistic disorders with different sets of characteristics and symptoms that can affect an individual once the correct factors have been met. These are defined most by a series and a range of psychological conditions that arise in the abnormalities of social interaction and communication – one of the ear marks of autism itself.
The names that can be included within this spectrum is Asperger Syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and Rett syndrome. Since they have been placed within a group, this article will not so much discuss about the different types of autism and their characteristics, but more as an explanation to the various and differing areas of autism spectrum and some of the common and unique symptoms that they may or may not share with each other. There is an understanding that the terminologies behind the condition known as autism can be sometimes wildly confusing, with the many names that overlap similar disorders and how seem to exist in very different arenas of childhood and even adult mental disorders. Within all these aspects of autism spectrum, the one defining characteristic of all are the tangible impairments of interaction and communication on a social level.
Also, there is a general agreement that the individuals under this spectrum also suffer from repetitive behaviours as well as restricted interests. Within this percentage, is a smaller percentage of people who seem to display extraordinary abilities, like long term memory, or ability to unravel difficult mathematical equations or even have skills like artistic flair or even great musical abilities. While this represents just a small percentage of those affected by autism spectrum, there is a floating belief that a higher percentage has latent abilities hidden within them, as a sort of psychological balancing of the body, to increase the performance in one area to make up for the slow processing of stimuli within the brain. Children who suffer from this condition also seem to share a loneliness that most often is mistaken for a preference. In actuality, these children have difficulty overcoming normal social situations and have a tough time keeping friends.
This is why they seem to cling on to their primary care givers and never move away from the ‘safety’ zone they have drawn around themselves and their parents. In fact, they seem to be more selective on how they choose their friends, mostly preferring to keep quality friends instead of having a large social network. Social development is a big problem for the people who are affected by autism spectrum disorder and these impairments often begin very early, sometimes as early as when they are a few months old. They avoid social stimuli, do not like eye contact, do not like meeting new people and often retreat into their own space whenever they feel a situation is threatening them. They also respond less to their own name and often fixate on a particular activity for hours on end, often oblivious to the rest of the world