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5 Main Types of Autism

5 Main Types of Autism

During the month of April, we have the opportunity to raise awareness and clear up confusion about what Autism really is and how it affects us and our children. To be able to do this, we must first lay the foundation for what autism actually is; Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental disability. The signs for autism usually start to appear during early childhood, and can affect the child’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Unfortunately, there is no known single cause of autism, but there are solutions and treatments that can help improve outcomes. 

Behaviors that are associated with autism include but are not limited to:

  • Delayed speech
  • Little to no eye contact
  • Trouble holding a conversation
  • Poor motor skills
  • Sensory sensitivities
  • Repetitive routines or mannerisms


5 Main Types of Autism

Asperger’s Syndrome – children with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to face challenges when trying to understand or interpret social cues. Those with this syndrome may also develop an intense, sometimes obsessive interest in one or two specific subjects, often showing a high level of intelligence and can even be described as gifted. Some children with this syndrome may experience sensory challenges like sensitivity to a shirt's tag. It is common for this disorder to be misdiagnosed initially with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Rett Syndrome – this progressive disorder begins with similar characteristics that are found in other forms of autism, like repetitive arm and hand waving, issues with fine and gross motor skills, and delayed speech. This type of autism only affects girls and can be apparent when they reach 6 months old. Symptoms like difficulty breathing, grinding teeth, growth delays, seizures, and mental retardation can increase in severity as the child gets older. 

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – children with this type of autism can seem perfectly fine in their first two years of life – developing normally, meeting all their milestones – but start regressing suddenly. CDD can be particularly tough and confusing for parents because one day your child is showing no signs of developmental delays, and suddenly they stop talking and interacting. This rare form of autism has been connected to seizure disorders by doctors. 

Kanner’s Syndrome – This syndrome is also known by the name Classic Autistic Disorder. Children with this syndrome typically show signs of what is considered the standard behaviors of autism – difficulty understanding or communicating with others, low or no eye contact, hypersensitivity to senses, and a need for a particular routine. These children tend to keep to themselves and have very little to no interest in engaging in the world around them. 

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – This is a mild form of autism which can cause children to have developmental or social delays, like walking and talking later than other children. Children with this type of autism typically learn to cope with their challenges more easily than children with more severe types of autism. 

If you suspect your child is showing signs of autism, they should receieve an assessment or evaluation. The assessment includes questions for the parents or caregivers, observation of the child, and a physical examination. Community Care Physicians is proud to be able to provide special care for children with developmental disabilities at our CapitalCare Developmental Pediatrics office in Latham, New York. This office offers high level clinical diagnostic services to help parents gain the knowledge and capabilities to care for their children. Their core services consist of diagnostic and consultative medical service from experienced clinicians. Learn more about CapitalCare Developmental Pediatrics here




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