Autism: the main symptoms, types, diagnosis


Autism, what is this disease and why it the last time so much attention? The answer is simple: it is increasingly often to find. Moreover, the disease is diagnosed today not only children but also adults, as this syndrome we had installed recently. Prior to this diagnosis raised another that didn’t give real tools to treat such people. Although early intervention has rather positive dynamics in many cases.

What’s the matter, why do people become autistic, what causes this disease? These questions to answer today is very difficult. Scientists and researchers have no consensus. Know only one thing: to heal such a person is impossible, this diagnosis will accompany him all his life. But to adapt to it, to help it to be clear to others – can and should be.

Where to start when diagnosed with autism?

First of all, it is necessary to accurately set the diagnosis. In any case it is impossible to do it yourself. Only a team of specialists consisting of: a therapist, a psychiatrist, a neurologist can determine the disease. But the first to sound the alarm about the presence of singularities in the behavior should be similar.

Symptoms of autism starts, the child is under the age of three. How not to miss a disease, and at the same time not to create undue panic around the baby because of the little things? In this case, will only the prudence of parents multiplied by their powers of observation, with the addition of maternal intuition that with my baby something is wrong, plus a consultation with a good specialist. Understand that every time you sneeze you run to the pediatrician stupid. But there is something that should encourage parents to constantly refer to the doctor. This is the baby’s health. Truth is one: the sooner treatment starts, the better the result.

Yes, autism is not curable. Medicines from. But there are techniques that teach loved ones rules for the treatment of such children and adults. But thanks to early intervention there is a great chance to adapt a child with this diagnosis to independent living in the future.

So what is autism?

Autism, the definition of which is not yet very uniquely, considered a mental disorder, which is caused by developmental disorders of the brain. Main features:

  • the deviation in social interaction and communication;
  • stereotyped behavior and interests.

These features appear in the child, usually before the age of three. In some cases, experts can observe the manifestation of this disease already has a three-month baby.

Autism is one of the most mysterious disorders in the mental development of man. To allocate it in a separate condition on the world level, began only 70 years ago. In the CIS it is generally under-researched syndrome. So we have experts in this area is small. Often children who suffer from autism are diagnosed with «mental retardation» or «schizophrenia». It is fundamentally wrong, because the treatments are different. Although in these diseases, the disabilities from autism to complex its manifestations is obvious.

Statistics on the number of people suffering from this disease is heterogeneous. We have it pretty dubious. In the US, where diagnosis and treatment of the disease involved is serious enough, these are:

  • 1 American child in 88 has the problem of autism according to the CDC (USA);
  • among boys with autism are much more common than among girls;
  • since 1990, this disease in the United States and the United Kingdom have increased significantly, the reasons are not known.

As you can see, the problem of autism is very relevant in the world.

What can cause disease?

Scientists still have no clear answer to this question. But the international diagnostic system (DSM-1Y and ICD-10) are inclined to believe that the main factors are biological disorders. Therefore, the causes of autism, consider:

  • psychodynamic factors;
  • the impact of the environment;
  • neurologo organic-biological disorders;
  • biochemical pathology;
  • the genetic factor.

According to this list we can conclude that autism, the causes of which are numerous, is polietiologic disease that occurs in various pathologies.

Consequently, in the risk group are children in the prenatal period and early postnatal was amazed:

  • viral infections;
  • radiation;
  • chronic fetal hypoxia;
  • acute asphyxia;
  • intoxication.

This group includes children whose parents have advanced age at the time of their conception.

The diagnosis of «autism» is also inherent to children with such genetic disorders as:

  • syndrome fragile of the X chromosome (25-47%);
  • down syndrome (5-10%);
  • tuberous sclerosis (16-48%);
  • syndrome Angelman;
  • Joubert syndrome;
  • the Cohen syndrome;
  • epileptic encephalopathy.

Despite the fact that children with autism syndrome, sometimes produce quite depressing because of its detachment, and the strange classes, they still have a good prospect of development. The main condition remain early diagnosis and early correction.

Autistic people who have achieved world recognition for his extraordinary abilities: albert Einstein, Daniel Tammet, bill gates.

The disease

Most researchers believe that autism, the symptoms which clearly begin to emerge when the child turns 1-3 years, the most typical. Preconditions to it, according to research by N. Samushkova are the following factors:

  • psychogenic 5% of the patients;
  • somatic 8 %;
  • autochthonous ( for no apparent reason) to 86%.

To treat psychogenic stress during weaning, the departure of parents for a long time (vacation, business trip, etc.), changes of residence, a fundamental violation of the regime of the day; the beginning of kindergarten.

To somatic factors include intercurrent infections, which are difficult to occur; vaccination; surgery and acute injury.

There are the following stages of disease:

Stage The duration of the stage Characteristic manifestations
Stage I Stage of psychosis 1-6 months Alienation, withdrawal, loss of emotion, lack of alertness; cardiac development
Stage II Stage regression 6-12 months Activity continues to decline, there is loss of speech, loss of self-help skills, eating of inedible objects, the appearance of movement patterns:· expansion and compression fingers into fists;· laying of fingers for each other;· raising the hands to shoulder level or high above the head;· the emergence of primitive gestures that were in the early period of development (for example, atetoz fingers);

· muscle tension in the body pressed against him, bent at the elbow in, and then flutter hands like wings;

Stage III Catatonic stage 18-24 months Appear catatonic disorders, which are accompanied by motor excitability in a rat race, spinning, rocking from side to side, climbing on furniture; negativism and stereotype persists.

By the end of the last stage can be observed in the child’s improvement. At the same time he has such specific actions:

  • hyperactivity;
  • impulsivity;
  • psychopathic disorder;
  • neurosis-like disorders.

But the child begins the development, which is celebrated in the appearance of:

  • reactions to others and their speech;
  • self-help skills;
  • the development of speech into individual syllables or sounds during emotional arousal.

How to recognize autism in a child?

Some diseases, especially at the genetic level, have their own «face», i.e. the General external features. These are down’s syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Cohen syndrome. Autism is also attributed to the resemblance. L. Kanner, the first researcher of this disease in his writings wrote that the children born are diagnosed with autism have subtle facial features. He called this characteristic «face Prince».

All the other symptoms relate to the development and behavior of the baby. We already know that very often an autistic child is developing according to the norm, and then abruptly in the period from 1 year to 3 years, it is the loss of acquired skills and functions. This is the first and most important signal of the beginning of the disease.

Although if you carefully observe the baby, already in the early period of its development it is possible to note such features

Age Disabilities
1 month Crying badly interpreted; goo goo limited, more like a scream, the child may scream; imitation of sounds is missing
2 months The child does not have recovery in the form of motor responses when he is offered a toy or when there adults
6 months No vocalization of the different voices and intonation, that is, to build «dialogue» with the child is impossible
8 months Repeats the syllables «PA-PA-PA», «mA-mA-mA»
9-10 months Not generated pointing and other social gestures («give-give», » -«)
18 months Does not respond well to treatment, does not point to objects, does not imitate adult does not want to communicate with them.

Diagnosis of autism

18 months for a child to spend a little of diagnosing the presence of autism according to the recommendations of HANS:

  1. Watching the baby on you when shows on a subject that interested him?
  2. Watching a child when you tell him pointing at something?
  3. He uses his imagination when playing «for fun»?

If your answers are only «no», then your child may be autistic. Immediately contact to the doctor.

During a visit to the doctor you will be asked to complete a questionnaire (A), where there will be questions the following sample:

  1. Whether you like your child to play on your lap, to swing, to jump?
  2. Like the child to climb somewhere, for example on a ladder?
  3. Likes to play childish games: «peek a Boo», «hide and seek»?
  4. Plays games by pretending, for example, makes tea and pours it into cups?
  5. Uses index finger when he needs something?
  6. Pointing to the fact that he was interested in?
  7. Uses toys on purpose or just throwing or cuddle?
  8. Brings the child some items to get something they show?

Another questionnaire (B) fill the health care provider according to his observation:

  1. During the taking of the child established eye contact?
  2. Engage the child and show the finger at some object at the other end of the office and breathe, «Look! This (name the item)!» Pay attention to the baby’s face. He looked in the direction you were pointing?
  3. Please note child and ask him to do something to pretend to feed a doll, drive to the store. Does your child request?
  4. Ask the child the question of where light. Specifies the little finger on the world?
  5. Goes from toddler to build a dice tower?


In the second questionnaire (B) can be such variants of implementation of tasks:

  • in the 2nd task the answer is «Yes» you say when you are convinced that the child was looking at the item you showed, and not on your hand;
  • 3 the job «for fun» you can play any familiar for baby game and it will count as a «Yes»answer;
  • 4 the task, you can repeat the question about any subject that is familiar to the child, while «Yes» set in if the child looked you in the face before or after you were asked to do the job.

It is now possible to summarize the result

Main points:

With the first questionnaire (A)

question 4 – the game «for fun» (A4);

question 6 — the use of pointing gestures (A6).

The second questionnaire (B)

question 2 – understand pointing gestures, and should look for them (B2);

question 3 – plays «for fun», follows the actions of adults (B3);

question 4 – use the index finger in order to show item (B4).

Intermediate points

With the first questionnaire (A)

question 1 – strange and foul play (A1);

question 2 – there are social signs (A2);

question 3 – definition of the level of development of motor skills (A3);

question 5 – the presence of pointing gestures (A5);

question 7 – a (A7);

question 8 – skills demonstration items (A8);

The second questionnaire (B)

question 1 – establishing eye contact (B1);

question 5 – the ability to build a tower of cubes (B5).

Risk assessment the presence of the syndrome of autism

High risk includes those children who have indicators of «no» to questions A4, A6, B2, B3, B4.

The low-risk group: index «no» is missing in the two groups.

Group medium risk: the value «no» there are two or more secondary points, as well as some basic.


The group of high and medium risk: make sure the child goes to the psychologist or psychiatrist.

The low-risk group: if there is at least one «no» repeat the test in about a month.

So, you can highlight the main points that are typical for people suffering from autism according to age category.

Signs of autism in a child up to 2-3 years

  1. Does not establish eye contact.
  2. When intact, the ear does not respond to his name.
  3. Not attract people’s attention to the subject that interests him.
  4. Not asking for help, not calling mom.
  5. Does not divided, shows aggression to other children.
  6. Performs repetitive actions, plays, as a rule, one toy.
  7. Does not allow to study other people.
  8. For their own needs uses another person (e.g., leads by the hand to where he wants), while emotional contact sets.
  9. Inadequately reacts to light, sound.

Signs of autism in a child 2 (3)- 11 years

  1. In his speech uses only a few words.
  2. The presence of stereotypical movements.
  3. A strong concern with changing the usual environment.
  4. Great difficulties in mastering writing and reading.
  5. Shows interest in any one type of activity (computer, art, music, etc.)

Signs of autism in children after 11 years

  1. Basic skills are formed.
  2. The desire to communicate is missing.
  3. There is aggression towards other people.
  4. Possible frequent depression in children, seizures.
  5. Loneliness is a prevalent condition.

Since the development of the child with autism spectrum disorders is uneven, it is possible to observe such a situation:

  • for some children and is characterized by manifestations that occur only in children of early age and are kept in autistic people for many years (for example, to take by mouth, knock the subject on the object);
  • some behind the norm in speech development, personal and social skills;
  • but there are those who not only meet all the same age, and far ahead in design, training, music, drawing, design, mathematics, and computer skills.

Signs of autism in adults

Autistic disorder in adults depend on how severe form of the disease as it occurs, and what treatment methods were used. Autism in adults has the following symptoms:

  1. Very little facial expressions and gestures.
  2. Rules of conduct in society does not perceive and completely ignores them. Therefore, the autistic can speak or softly, or very loudly; to look directly into the eyes or not make eye contact.
  3. May their actions harm others without realizing it.
  4. Does not understand emotions and feelings of other people.
  5. To build a friendship or a love relationship it is very difficult.
  6. Not drawn first to someone.
  7. The vocabulary used by the poor.
  8. His speech more like the speech of the robot, since there are no intonations and emotions.
  9. They are quite confident and calm only in normal circumstances and not suffer any changes.

If autism in adults signs of which we reviewed, occurs in mild form, it is quite possible that in 20-25 years the person can live independently. In severe forms of autism require special care.

Types of autism

Autism is a mental disorder, which have different effects on different people. The number of signs, causes and time of occurrence there is the following classification of autism:

  • infantile autism;
  • atypical autism;
  • disintegrative disorders of early age;
  • hyperactivity with the presence of mental retardation and stereotypes;
  • Asperger’s syndrome;
  • the total deviation in development.

Infantile autism (Kanner syndrome)

Form of autism, which is characterized by the first manifestations of disorders in the development of the child until the child reaches 3 years of age. Abnormal functioning is observed in communication, behavior, social interaction. Also, the child may be baseless fears, sleep disorders, dysfunction of the intestine, strange bursts of anger, aggressiveness towards others and to ourselves.

Atypical autism

Atypical autism is a form of autism, which differs from childhood autism to the time of first symptoms or complete absence of certain criteria. So, it turns out, usually after 3 years. Atypical autism is often found in children with mental retardation or speech disorders. First, the child develops according to the norm, and then comes his loss of acquired skills. The development is inhibited. A child who has atypical autism, is acquiring a severe form of mental retardation.

Disintegrative disorder earliest age

Form of autism, when the child develops according to age but within a few months, suddenly everything changes: he is losing interest in the world, there are stereotypes, there are deviations in communication. The diagnosis is established only against the background of behavioral symptoms.

Hyperactivity with the presence of mental retardation and stereotypes

The main characteristics are: severe mental retardation, hyperactivity, impaired attention and stereotypical behavior. Over time (most often in adolescence) hyperactivity changing to a lower activity. The children with autism to help very difficult. Behavior disorders caused by low intelligence, but as a result of organic brain damage.

Asperger’s Syndrome

While autism (it is also called functional autism) disturbed social interaction, there are stereotypes inherent fascination with only one occupation. Unlike typical autism, no delay in speech development. Cognitive functions are developed, respectively, the norm and even higher. Characteristic clumsiness. The violations that appeared in adolescence or later in life, lasts for life.

Common abnormalities in development

Forms of autism, disorders of which are not suitable for any of the listed species or critical about the appearance of the disease and its course are not available, which does not allow to establish a more accurate diagnosis.

Stereotype in autism

Autism in almost all its forms are accompanied by stereotypical behavior. It is accompanied by certain motions of the body, emotions, interest in one subject, etc.

The typical stereotype is considered to be behavioral. It is characterized by being autistic enough conservative to its surrounding world. They do not tolerate any changes in his life.

The autistic people, especially adults, is inherent in neophobia. This means that nothing new should appear, otherwise it can cause they do not understand aggression or, conversely, fear. To maintain peace around the going to be the lasting stability.

Autistic children, in turn, a negative attitude to new things, food, toys. It makes them panic. Basic rearrangement of furniture or changes in the route causing them anxiety, which can lead to an outbreak of anger.

Motor stereotypies is fairly common among autistic phenomenon. It lies in the fact that the patient during the day and often rhythmically repeats the same movement. It excites the child and brings great pleasure. It can be jiggling, waving head, finger movements before the eyes, swings arms, running in circles, tapping, etc. Sometimes there is a complex stereotyped movements.

Sometimes people with autism can observe the speech stereotype. Its peculiarity is that the child involuntarily repeats several times the same words, phrases.

Game activity is also not devoid of stereotypes. Child can spend hours to contemplate the bright objects as they move. There is a long delay at the stage of the same type of manipulative game non-game items: pot lids, shoes, household items. A special passion is apparent during such activities as pouring water, pouring of the sand. These children can spend hours to put books, blocks and other toys in a row, distributing them by color and size. They are fun to collect and dismantle of the tower puzzles. But if something does not work, then really nervous, excited and trying to recover. They like to watch the spinning peg top or regular cover. Toys they may be interested in items such as odor, color, sound, surface. Very often these children have favorite things that they never give up, hold them in your hands, twist or yank.

Stereotypes can be permanent, can occur only during the excitement or arousal.

Treatment of children with autism

Autism, which treatment as an independent disease is not carried out, still subject to drug exposure, as it may cause related diseases. Therefore, in addition to monitoring by a psychiatrist of such children should periodically consult a pediatrician, neurologist, gastroenterologist and other specialists.

Necessarily with such children classes with speech therapist and psychologist. If you want to pass a comprehensive examination, you can apply to the PMPC (psychological, medical and pedagogical consultation), which operates in every regional center. It is here about the health of the child and possible help give my opinion and psychologists, doctors and teachers. Their recommendations will be of a more practical nature, which will greatly help parents in further action.

Children with autism may begin having seizures. Therefore, it is recommended to do EEG monitoring. In addition, they often sleep disorder that requires medical intervention under strict medical supervision. In any case do not let the medicines themselves.

Problematic in these children are the intestines, often autistic people do not wish to accept the offered food, only the food to which they are accustomed. Moreover, they often lack of appetite at all. This greatly affects the digestive tract. Therefore, consultation with a gastroenterologist should be permanent.

Attention should be paid to physical development of patients with autism. They are prone to diseases such as connective tissue dysplasia, which leads to the violation they have posture, flat feet. Why physiotherapy is important for them. In addition, physical exercise will develop coordination and motor skills.

It is worth remembering that children with autism are unable to Express their grievances to words. In addition, they have the sensitivity to pain is much lower. So you need to be careful while they start to get sick from viral infections as they can lead to significant complications.

Symptoms of autism are diverse. Therefore, not treated the syndrome, and these symptoms. Most often, medical treatment is subjected to aggression, aggression, anxiety, stereotypies, sleep disorders, etc.

Seen by many doctors that the effectiveness of treatment in children is higher than adults. Side effects they have to the same much less. Because the symptoms are different, then the substances are selected on an individual basis only.

Alternative methods of treatment of autism also exists. But remember that they can be dangerous for the patient. Many of the methods do not take into account the pathogenesis of autism. And their developers have no medical education, which raises doubts about the effectiveness of treatment.

So before you agree to a course of treatment review of practice in more detail. It can begin irreversible processes that back did not return. It is better to trust the professionals. We offer to Your attention a detailed article about the children’s autism.

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