The word "spectrum" as used in this instance refers to a continum of severity of developmental impairment." Those who suffer from disorders on the autism spectrum have problems with communication and socialization that are similar but the conditions range over a very wide spectrum. Severity can range from very mild to extremely severe.
When people speak of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) they are usually referring to the three most common, which are:
* Asperger's Disorder: aka Asperger's Syndrome or AS.
* Autistic Disorder: classic autism.
* PDD-NOS: Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.
Adults and children who suffer from ASDs all have difficulty with communication and social interaction in varying degrees. They can also suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and form attachments to odd things or have unusual routines, which could best be described as rituals. They also often do things repetatively and hoard. No two people with ASD acts or responds exactly the same when put into circumstances that are identical. Each individual has his/her own unique symptoms and responses.
There are five Pervasive Developmental Disorders. They are:
* Asperger's Syndrome.
* Autistic Disorder.
* Childhood Disintegrative Disorder aka CDD
* PDD-NOS, as described above.
* Rhett's Disorder.
Here are a few statistics:
Asperger's Syndrome - This is quite common. 15,000 Canadians suffer from this disorder and possibly even more. Asperger's Syndrome, though discovered in 1939, by Hans Asperger, wasn't recognized in North America until the mid 1990s. This means that hundreds of adults may suffer from the disorder and not know it. Asperger's Syndrome can affect both boys and girls, but is more prominent in boys.
Autistic Disorder - Very common. 73,000 Canadians have Autistic Disorder.
CDD - Rare. Only 500 Canadians have Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
PDD-NOS - Common. 47,000 Canadians.
Rhett's Disorder - Rare. Only 3,150 Canadians have been diagnosed with Rhett's. My great-niece has it, though only a very mild case. Rhett's Disorder can affect both boys and girls but is more prominent in girls.
Other Related Conditions:
* Tourette's Syndrome.
* Down Syndrome.
* Landau-Kleffner Syndrome.
* Prader-Willi Syndrome.
If you would like more information on autism:
Autism Society of America
Canadian Autism Society
Autism Treatment Services of Canada
There will be an Autism Ontario Art Auction at St. Lawrence Hall, Toronto on Wednesday May 21, 2008. For more information, please click HERE.
Have a wonderful week and please, educate yourself about autism. Those living with it need your understanding and prayers. ~Blessings, Mary~