Cognitive Dissonance

What is autism?

What is autism?
What is autism?

A developmental disease known as autism, often known as autism spectrum disorder, is characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication, and conduct. The illness is chronic, and each person will experience it differently.

Challenges or disparities in physical, intellectual, and social abilities are among the symptoms. Autistic people disorder may learn, behave, think, communicate, and interact in different ways than those without the illness.

Autism is referred to be a spectrum condition since there is a wide range in both the symptoms people experience and their intensity.

There are six illnesses that might cause the symptoms of autism to be misdiagnosed.

Most symptoms start before three, but some start younger. Parents may observe signs related to their children’s social interaction, sensory processing, and communication skills.

Problems with repetitive habits, restricted interests, and difficulty interacting are all signs of autism.

Although autistic individuals conditions may not exhibit all of these signs, they usually do:

  • Making eye contact difficult
  • Having trouble listening to and participating in talks
  • When routine is even slightly disturbed, it causes extreme anguish.
  • Uncongruent facial expressions and verbal communication
  • Intense passion for particular subjects
  • Inability to enjoy activities
  • Issues with verbalizing needs or sentiments
  • Not playing games with “drama”
  • Slow or nonexistent response to requests for attention
  • Sensitivity to tastes, lights, and smells, among other sensory inputs
  • Stimming actions (i.e., self-stimulating, repetitive tasks such as rocking, walking on the toes, or hand twitching)
  • Having a hard time understanding other people’s perspectives

It’s crucial to keep in mind that because autism is a spectrum disorder, individuals may have mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. Some people may have many symptoms yet only mildly experience them.

In other instances, persons could only have a few symptoms in crucial areas, yet those symptoms cause them to be severely impaired.

Mild autism symptoms generally don’t interfere with a person’s ability to go about their everyday life. But they might increase the risk of other mental health difficulties including excessive stress, compulsive behavior, sensory problems, anxiety, and depression.

Autism may affect people from various socioeconomic situations, races, and ethnicities, and is often diagnosed in children.

Autism signs to watch

Although each kid is unique, some indications that a professional evaluation may be required include:

  • Six months without any grins or pleasant reactions
  • Until you turn one, wait for chatter.
  • When the child’s name is called, there is no reaction
  • Not having access to items until age one
  • 16 months of one-word speech impediment
  • Till the age of two, no sentences of two words.
  • Any speaking or social abilities go

The initial or root cause

Autism symptoms are often initially seen by parents, although they can also be noticed by other caregivers, teachers, and medical professionals.

Early research and assessment are crucial. It’s crucial to consult your child’s doctor if you have concerns about your child’s conduct. The sooner the intervention can start, the sooner the diagnosis can be determined.

Nobody can tell if someone is autistic using a precise test. By examining behavior and asking questions about growth, doctors can identify autism.

Related Reading: What to Know About Childhood Autism

Valuation of autism

Doctors watch a lot of developmental milestones and test for a lot of developmental deficits during routine developmental check-ups during childhood. Children may get further testing if they don’t reach key milestones.

A team of experts, which may include a developmental pediatrician, a child psychiatrist, and a speech-language pathologist, will examine a kid’s behavior, cognitive ability, and language skills during a separate evaluation.

The following are some examples of tests used to identify autism:

  • Developmental observation
  • Test of hearing
  • An IQ test
  • A reliable diagnosis of autism can be made in children as early as two.
  • Symptoms first appear in a kid within the first three years of life.
  • Adult-diagnosed condition

While it is often diagnosed in children, autism can also be identified as an adult or in adolescence. Since certain symptoms of autism might be mistaken for those of other mental health illnesses including anxiety, OCD, and ADHD, a diagnosis of autism later in life can occasionally be more challenging.

The best therapies for autistic individuals are still being researched, but receiving a diagnosis might help you better understand your struggles both now and in the past. Additionally, it may teach you how to appreciate your advantages and seek assistance when necessary.

Although early diagnosis is typically the norm, it is never too late to be tested for, given an autism diagnosis, and get treatment. Consult your doctor if you think you might have signs of autism to find out more.

Pervasiveness of autism

One in 54 eight-year-olds has an autistic spectrum diagnosis, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, they discovered that guys were four times more likely than girls to have autism.

Additionally, prevalence data show that autism is more prevalent today than it was in the past. Additionally, it seems to be increasing as it has risen by 10% to 17% over time.

Factor of autism

Even while the precise origins are unknown, research indicates that the disorder probably has a hereditary component.

Children who have siblings with autism are more likely to get the disorder, according to research that suggests a genetic link.

Only 20% of the reasons, according to the study, can be directly attributed to hereditary factors. To learn more about how certain genetic mutations or variants may influence the emergence of autism spectrum disease, more study is required.

While studies have indicated that genes play a significant role, preterm delivery and old paternal age have also been linked to developing autism.

Pregnancy-related drug use has been associated with an increased risk for autistic spectrum disorder.

According to research, vaccination do not cause autism. 7

Kind of autism

A person’s functional level will also be determined when they are given an autism diagnosis. The three degrees of autism spectrum disorder are as follows:

  • Level 1
  • Moderately harsh at Level 2
  • Level 3: Very bad

The severity of the impact on behavioral and social abilities is indicated by these degrees.

Level 1

Autism is regarded as having a level 1 condition. This sort of person may struggle with limiting behaviors and social relationships. Typically, they just require a small amount of assistance to go about their normal everyday lives.

Level 2

More assistance is required for those with a level 2 autism spectrum condition. Their communication issues and need for assistance in controlling troublesome actions are clear indicators of their social challenges.

Level 3

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) level 3 symptoms affect a person’s capacity to live and work independently. When autistic individuals reach this stage, they usually lack verbal communication, struggle with change, engage in repetitive or constrictive activities, and may show sensitivity to sensory stimuli.

Earlier Type of autism

Significant improvements in the classification and diagnosis of autism have been made since the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published in 2013. Before the release of the DSM-5, doctors had identified many forms of autism. These consist of:

  • A moderate variant of autism known as Asperger’s syndrome is characterized by normal intellectual functioning but trouble interacting with others.
  • The moderate type of autism known as pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) was more severe than Asperger’s.
  • In comparison to Asperger’s and PDD-NOS, autistic disorder is a more severe type of autism.

Autism spectrum disorder is the sole name given to these diseases today. Although the classifications are no longer considered to be formal diagnoses, some people nevertheless find them to be helpful in describing the nature and degree of symptoms. For instance, many people discover that having Asperger’s is advantageous for interacting with friends who have comparable experiences.

Autism spectrum disorder and social anxiety

Medical attention for autism

Although autism is a lifelong disorder, there are therapies that can ease many symptoms and enhance a person’s capacity for functioning in various spheres of life.

The National Institute of Mental Health advises that therapy should start as soon as the diagnosis is made.

There is no ideal course of therapy. Because the symptoms of autism are so varied, each person’s demands are as diverse. Medication and counseling are some treatment possibilities.

Drugs for autism

While there are no authorized drugs to treat autism, a doctor may prescribe certain drugs to address particular symptoms.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), antipsychotics, stimulants, anti-anxiety drugs, and anticonvulsants are a few examples of pharmaceuticals that can help with symptoms like:

  • Attack
  • Anxiety
  • Attentional issues
  • Sadness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inappropriate language
  • Peevishness
  • Social benefit

Therapy for Behavior and Development of autism

Interventions in behavior, psychology, or skill-training are usually the mainstays of autism treatment.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA), a type of treatment that uses reinforcement to teach and reinforce positive behaviors and abilities, is a widely applied strategy.

Other typical therapies used to treat autism include:

  • Behavioral Cognitive Therapy (CBT)
  • Individual and developmental differences. Relationship counseling (also known as “floortime”)
  • Early intervention for serious behavioral problems
  • Dispute Resolution Therapy
  • Interventions for Relationship Development
  • Therapy using oral behavior

These therapies are intended to aid those who are autistic spectrum disorders:

  • Boost mental capacity
  • Enhancing current strength
  • Boost your language and communication abilities.
  • Enhancing social skills
  • Acquire the abilities necessary for independent living.

Other therapies employed include social skills instruction, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and assistive technology. Parents and other carers receive skills training as part of therapy, which is another facet of caregiving that is much included.


You can use a variety of self-help techniques in addition to getting medical attention to manage some of the symptoms of autism. Several solutions include:


Try to see these distinctive qualities as just a part of who someone is rather than dwelling on disparities. Instead of trying to “correct” aspects that make someone different from others, practice acceptance and unconditional love.

Make the setting welcoming and pleasant

Be aware of potential sources of stress, such as sensory stimulation like loud noises or bright lights.

Following a schedule

Routine and structure help autistic people function as best they can. Meals, school, appointments, therapy, and sleep should all be the same every day. Give them plenty of notice and preparation time when changes or interruptions are anticipated.

Join a group of supporters

Search for regional or online support groups in your area. You may find information and programs linked to autism spectrum disorder, share experiences, receive support, learn about treatments, and more.

Recognize your triggers.

You may find solutions to avoid or alter problematic settings that lead to disruptive or challenging behaviors if you know what those triggers are.

Pay close attention to nonverbal cues

Autistic people may not be able to communicate their problems to you since they usually have trouble with social interaction and communication. Consider factors like body language, facial expressions, and other nonverbal indicators.

Use reiterative language

When you “hold someone up for being excellent,” the idea is to reward them. Praise them when you see them demonstrating a new ability or carrying out a nice deed. Verbal praise is effective, but you may also reinforce good conduct with other desirable rewards like stickers or preferred hobbies.

Vetrivel’s statement

A person’s life can be significantly impacted by the complicated disease of autism in a wide range of ways. A range of therapies and resources are available to support, and early intervention is crucial. Finding the best course of therapy for oneself or a loved one might enable them to lead more autonomous lives.

Also Read

Written by

Greetings, I am Dr. Ashutosh Tripathi, a psychologist with extensive expertise in criminal behavior and its impact on psychological well-being. I hold a Master of Physics (Honors), a Master of Philosophy, a Master of Psychology, and a PhD in Psychology from BHU in India.Over the past 13 years, I have been privileged to serve more than 3200 patients with unique and varied psychological needs. My clinical work is guided by a deep passion for helping individuals navigate complex psychological issues and live more fulfilling lives.As a recognized contributor to the field of psychology, my articles have been published in esteemed Indian news forums, such as The Hindu, The Times of India, and Punjab Kesari. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been honored by the Government of Israel for my contributions to the Psychological Assistance Program.I remain committed to advancing our understanding of psychology and its applications through my ongoing research, which can be found on leading online libraries such as Science Direct, Wiley, Elsevier, Orcid, Google Scholar, and loop Frontiers. I am also an active contributor to Quora, where I share my insights on various psychological issues.Overall, I see myself as a lifelong student of psychology, constantly learning and growing from my patients, colleagues, and peers. I consider it a great privilege to have the opportunity to serve others in this field and to contribute to our collective understanding of the human mind and behavior.

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