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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder. It affects a person's behaviour. And it makes communication and social interactions hard.
ASD can range from mild to severe. The type of symptoms a person has and how severe they are varies. Some adults who have ASD may not be able to function without a lot of help from parents and other caregivers. Others may learn social and verbal skills and be able to care for themselves.
Most people who have ASD will always have some trouble when they communicate or interact with others. But treatment for ASD has helped many people who have it to lead full lives.
ASD now includes conditions that used to be diagnosed separately. These include:
You or your doctor might use any of these terms to describe the condition.
Adults with ASD have some symptoms in these areas:
Symptoms may include:
How severe the symptoms are varies. Some symptoms, like repetitive behaviours, may get better over time.
Adults with ASD may have other problems. These include:
ASD is usually diagnosed in early childhood when parents notice developmental delays and behaviour issues. But if a child's symptoms are mild or mistaken for another condition, ASD may not be noticed until later in life.
To diagnose ASD, the doctor will:
Other tests may be used to see if another problem is causing symptoms.
The doctor will use all of this information, along with his or her judgment, to diagnose ASD.
Treatment may include:
This can help you learn how to:
On-the-job training and coaching can help you:
Medicines might be used to treat ASD symptoms. These include being cranky or hyperactive. Sometimes medicine is used to treat other problems, like anxiety and depression.
Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health & Fred Volkmar MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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