Autism Spectrum Disorder is rapidly changing as new developments are being made. The release of the fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has altered the way people see and diagnose autism.
Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD explains a range of developmental disorders “characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors” (Autism Speaks website). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every one in eighty-eight children will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD is a disorder that affects every population and group in the world; however, it is more common in certain ethnicities. For example, ASD is more likely to be diagnosed in European Americans than in African Americans and Latinos. There are a couple things that explain this disparity. Minorities in America that have low IQ scores are more likely to be diagnosed with a cognitive or intellectual disability rather than autism. In addition, European Americans have greater access to health care services than Latinos and African Americans do. As a result, European Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Also, autism is more prevalent in boys than in girls. More specifically, boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder than girls. This is partially due to fact that boys are more vulnerable to neurological dysfunction. Another reason is that doctors are more likely to diagnose boys with autism if they display behaviors that deviate from what is typical or expected. (EDP textbook chapter 9 page 237).
There are many signs and symptoms of ASD; however, most people will not have every single one. Rather, they will have a few that reflect different categories. Some common signs related to communication skills are, impaired speech, difficulty holding conversations, unnecessary repetition of words, and delays or lack of language. In addition, there are some common signs associated with social interactions. Some of these include, difficulty maintaining eye contact, minimal interest in making and playing with friends, and absence of attachment to parents and family members. Some other symptoms a child with autism might possess are, repetitive motions like excessive head banging and hand flapping, temper tantrums, and opposition to change (Perspectives on Diseases & Disorders: Autism). Overall, there are a lot of signs and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, but just because a child exhibits behaviors parallel to these, it does not necessarily mean that the child meets the criteria for diagnosis. The diagnostic process of ASD requires the cooperation of the families and doctors. Due to the fact that there is no single medical test that can be administered that will diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder, and as a result, there are a lot of steps to ensure that the proper diagnosis is given.
The first step toward...