*Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people. ASDs are “spectrum disorders.” That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction. But there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are, and the exact nature of the symptoms.
Types of ASD
There are three different types of ASDs:
Autistic Disorder (also called “classic” autism)
• This is what most people think of when hearing the word “autism.” People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual disability.
• People with Asperger syndrome usually have some milder symptoms of autistic disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests. However, they typically do not have problems with language or intellectual disability.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also called “atypical autism”)
• People who meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome, but not all, may be diagnosed with PDD-NOS. People with PDD-NOS usually have fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder. The symptoms might cause only social and communication challenges.
Kaplan University: Creating Brighter Futures and Kaplan University have recently partnered to help provide educational opportunities for employees to pursue post graduate certificates and degrees in the field of behavioral science.
*Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Autism Alliance of Michigan: AAoM is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders through education, comprehensive services, coordinated advocacy, and cutting-edge research. Visit their website for the latest Michigan autism news and events.
Autism Speaks: Autism Speaks has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
Autism Society of America: The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. To learn more visit www.autism-society.org.
Autism Research Institute: The Autism Research Institute’s mission is to meet the needs of the global autism community through research, networking, education, and support for families and people of all ages on the autism spectrum. ARI is a non-profit research, resource, and referral organization that conducts and funds research that makes a difference in finding the causes and developing safe, effective treatments for autism.
Autism Society of Michigan: The mission of the Autism Society of Michigan (ASM) is to assure full participation and self-determination in every aspect of life for each individual. We will realize this vision by opening avenues of self-advocacy and advocating on behalf of others in a way that values equity, respect, dignity and diversity in all communities.