FAQ Autism Part II: The final answers to the most common questions

Welcome back, parents! Do you feel like you know autism a little better now? Have all your burning questions been answered? For the brave ones who survived our first blog on frequently asked questions about autism, congratulations: you are almost to the finish line. Get ready for a few more questions and answers about this much-discussed yet enigmatic condition. 

We promise we won't overload you with too much information, just enough for you to learn something new about autism and debunk some common myths. So grab some popcorn and get comfy; let's dive right into Part II of our comprehensive guide to all things autism.

6 FAQs about autism

Here are some of the most common FAQ autism:

  • What does ASD mean?

ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder, which is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects social communication and behavior. It is a spectrum condition because it can vary greatly in its characteristics, this means that not all autistic people are the same. 

People with ASD may experience difficulty with communication and social interactions, hyperactive behaviors, or sensory sensitivities, but there’s no one size fits all symptom for this disorder. 

  • Is autism a developmental disability?

Though the “D” in ASD stands for “disorder”, from a medical standpoint, autism is considered a developmental disability. 

 A disability can be defined as a physical or mental impairment that limits daily activities. Some of these limitations may require assistance from technology or other people, while some are completely uncontrollable. In contrast, a disorder is a medical condition that involves cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. This can go from dementia and anxiety to depression and OCD. 

In this sense, autism is labeled as a developmental disability because it limits daily activities. Autistic people often experience difficulty when they interact with others, have trouble identifying social clues, and are sensitive to stimuli. This can limit their level of interaction and communication, affecting the way they develop in social environments, including school and work. 

  • When does autism develop?

Autism is a complex neurological disorder that impacts the way an individual process and interprets information on a daily basis. Symptoms can appear as early as 18 months of age, though the average age of diagnosis is around 2–4 years old. However, many cases are not diagnosed until adulthood.  

Researchers are still trying to understand why autism can show up in early childhood or remain unidentifiable until adulthood. It is important to note that autism does not discriminate, and its presentation can vary drastically from one person to another. Some signs may be more subtle than others, depending on the individual’s developmental level and natural abilities. Therefore, it may be harder for parents to identify certain behaviors common in autism if their child has already achieved a certain degree of development by the time they begin to spot hidden signs of autism at work.

Nonetheless, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends testing kids for autism as soon as they turn 18 months old because the sooner the treatments start, the better the child will develop. 

  • What is the difference between Autism and Aspergers?

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome are both developmental disorders generally characterized by impaired social interactions, communication challenges, and a restricted range of interests or repetitive behaviors. While both diagnoses fall under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), they have distinct characteristics that make them different.

That being said, the primary difference is that Asperger's syndrome tends to be milder or “higher functioning” than autism, but may cause difficulties with social interaction in more subtle ways. For example, someone with Asperger's might have fewer issues understanding conversation or making eye contact, while someone with autism might struggle even more in those areas. 

  • Can autistic child become normal?

The age-old debate of whether an autistic child can become “normal” has been around for as long as anyone can remember. The truth is, any type of developmental condition cannot be cured or changed, but the symptoms of autism can be managed and treated with therapy and other support. So while it might not be possible to become a quote-unquote “normal” person, it is absolutely possible for an autistic child to grow into a successful adult with the right amount of care and attention.

So, the treatments include things like understanding communication cues and responding differently in stressful environments, and this doesn't happen overnight. A lot of hard work, support, and patience is needed from all parties involved to make any progress.

  • Does autism get worse with age?

Recent research shows that, contrary to popular belief, autism does not seem to get worse with age. In fact, in many cases, autistic individuals have reported an easing of some symptoms as they become older because they get treated on time. It appears that there is something about the aging process that helps mitigate many of the challenges people with autism often face. 

The only reason why autism can get worse with age is due to the lack of treatment. That’s why it’s recommended to start treating autism symptoms as soon as it’s diagnosed. 

And there you go! These are the answers to some of the most common questions about autism! We already wrote a blog on this topic, but there are too many questions to answer. Do you think we will need a part 3?

Let us know in the comments below!

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