The Different Levels Of Autism


Compared to most mental disorders, autism is rather new. It was not until 1943 that Dr. Leo Kannerdiscovered that autism was a real disorder. In fact, up until then, those with the condition were considered to be “retarded” or “idiots.” Kanner described children with autism as being contained within themselves and self-satisfied. Incredibly, even after autism was recognized, Kanner and many experts in the psychology field blamed this disorder on the mothers, saying she was not giving the child enough attention and affection. We now know that this was all wrong and that autism is actually part of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), which includes what used to be known as Asperger’s Syndrome, high-functioning autism, and pervasive developmental disorder, among others. It has been discovered in children as young as six months old, but sometimes is not noticed until the child starts school.

Does My Child Have ASD?



Many people think those with autism cannot speak or function at all so they will not notice the other signs of ASD. Some may think people with ASD are unable to have normal lives or even have to be hospitalized. These ideas are outdated and wrong. While some children with ASD do not verbalize their thoughts at all, most are able to speak and hold conversations with others. In fact, there are many that go on to graduate, go to college, live on their own, and even get married. There are levels of ASD that range from mild to severe, with severe being those who cannot communicate at all. So, how do you know if your child has ASD?There are some signs of autism that really stand out such as:

Babies and Toddlers

  • No eye contact
  • Not making vocal sounds
  • Not smiling
  • Not responding to name

All Ages

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Being aloof or avoiding others
  • Not talking
  • Repetitive behaviors like rocking or flapping
  • Does not like change
  • Extreme reaction to loud noises
  • Only eats certain foods
  • Repeating words
  • Lacking emotions such as happiness or sadness

Understanding the Science



Studies have shown that ASD affects more boys than girls and that they are usually not diagnosed until they are in school. In addition, there are other physical comorbidities that may accompany ASD such as irritability, gastrointestinal problems, or sleep issues. There is still no clear cause of ASD, but there are several risk factors, which include:

  • Hereditary – having a sibling with ASD
  • Parents that are older – those with fathers over the age of 40 and mothers over the age of 35
  • Gender—males have a higher chance than females of having ASD

However, there are also many theories that are not scientifically proven yet but are being studied such as:

  • Medication – the use of acetaminophen in infants and toddlers has been associated with ASD
  • High levels of B12 in the mother
  • Premature birth
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Diabetic mother
  • Hepatitis B vaccine in the first 30 days of life

The best thing to do if you suspect that your child has ASD is to contact one of the online therapists using the internet to discuss your thoughts. Rather than worry about it or run off to the doctor’s office, you can talk to a licensed mental health professional with experience in this type of situation.