Late Spectrum Diagnosis: Just How Common it is to Be Misdiagnosed

Autism spectrum disorders nowadays can be diagnosed with more precision than ever, mostly because there’s a lot of information and tools to help with the correct diagnosis. However, in previous decades it was hard to find the reason for the atypical behavior in children and adults alike. This situation is the reason for many late diagnoses in adults, and even wrong diagnosis and treatments for the wrong condition that they had to stand while growing up.

For some individuals, dealing with struggles in their lives because they can’t choose a proper reaction and have difficulties to engage with the people around them is quite common. Finding that they are within the spectrum is a relief, as it helps them learn how to handle their conditions, that way their lives can improve significantly.

Why many children are misdiagnosed?

There is not a single cause for this. It depends on how they behave, what symptoms they present, and if their parents and teachers are paying attention to their development and interactions with other children. Also, because we are talking about a spectrum with so many different conditions and symptoms, it can be hard to place every single one of the children into it.

Since 2013, thanks to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, professionals, teachers, and parents have found a guide to place the array of symptoms associated with autism. And with it, the diagnosis has become a group effort to find the best course of action for children and help them integrate to their surroundings.

But for many kids who grow up undiagnosed and became adults, this lack of proper diagnosis became a burden; they grow with an odd feeling of not belonging, they are criticized for their natural behaviors and feel like outcasts, especially during their teenage years. With the new technology and procedures, a lot of people have been finding a correct diagnosis, starting a treatment to ease their problems, and help them interact with society.

As more people begin to understand what the ASD’s really are, there will be fewer misdiagnosis and children will find a way to develop their full potential. That is the reason why parents and teachers must work closely, ask each other if something looks out of the ordinary, be very aware of the children habits and interactions, and observe their reactions to find symptoms that will indicate some condition or behavioral aspect.

As parents, we should never be afraid to seek professional guidance and ask as many questions as are necessary; after all, your kids deserve the best in the world, and living within the spectrum is not necessarily a negative thing: it’s just the beginning of a wonderful journey with its ups and downs, with sacrifice and rewards, that will prepare them for the future ahead.

Come to Autism Soccer, where we offer excellent programs for the development of your children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

autism spectrum condition

This condition is not something linear; it has certain variations across the people who have it.

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10 Q&A about Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that can affect several skills in a person, especially language, motor, and social skills. It’s classified in three levels for diagnosis; however, many people still don’t fully comprehend it completely, and the different aspects that are associated with it. With these ten questions and answers, we hope to expand your knowledge about it.

What are the causes of autism?

This is the most common question about the disorders in the spectrum, but scientists and medical professionals haven’t found a specific cause or causes. There are many studies about the possible reasons, but the results haven’t been conclusive; some think that a genetic mutation is the main cause; others point to differences in the development of the brain in during the pregnancy, which would cause the behavioral conditions associated with it. Still, this question doesn’t have a specific answer.

Is it common?

Yes, it is. Autism is the most common developmental disorder, 1 in 150 children can be diagnosed within one of the three levels of the spectrum.

Who can suffer autism?

Anyone. ASD doesn’t distinguish among social status or ethnicity. However, gender seems to be a factor, as it has been proven that 4 out of 5 people within the spectrum are male.

How does autism influence behavior?

It depends on the level, but the primary challenge among people with ASD is social interaction. People with autism tend not to be able to grasp all the aspects of human communication fully, so subtle details can be tough for them. Besides, people placed in level 3 tend to have erratic and compulsive behavior; which is why they’ll always need a caregiver.

How severe is the behavior of a person with autism?

This can be subjective; it will depend on the level in which that person is placed, with the third level being the most severe. However, behavior can be controlled with a correct diagnosis during the early years and with the proper treatment; children with autism can be calm and behave normally. The real problem here is that parents struggle to accept their kid’s condition, and it can take years for them to start the correct treatments.

Can they manage to be independent?

Again, this will depend on the level of ASD, but many of them can manage to have an independent life when they reach adulthood, just by following the right treatment and having the correct guidance.

Is autism a cognitive disability?

No, both terms are not synonyms. ASD is a developmental disorder, while cognitive disabilities affect learning and motor skills; some children within the spectrum can show display these disabilities, but not necessarily all of them. As noted before, the more significant challenges are social interaction and personal relationships.

Can autism appear with other conditions?

Yes, there are other disorders associated with developmental skills that are present with ASD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), learning disabilities, bipolarity, and epilepsy can all appear in kids with autism, sometimes in combinations. It’s for this reason that doctors recommend for parents to be very observant of their children’s behavior during the early years so that these problems can be adequately identified and treated.

Can people with autism work?

Yes, with the correct therapy people within the spectrum can work in many different areas, as a matter of fact, people diagnosed with the first level of ASD can become very successful on their fields; some of them can even have above average intelligence.

What type of work can a person with autism perform?

Because of their compulsive and repetitive behavior, structured jobs tend to be the best for them. They develop better with routines and repetitive activities; however, many prefer the type of job where they don’t have to interact with the public, or with large amounts of people. Keep in mind that individuals within the spectrum tend to struggle with social interactions.

As you can see, autism is no longer a disorder that few people know, it has become a thoroughly studied condition; in this era of inclusion, we as a society are trying to give people with ASD the space that they need, and to understand them the best way we could. Come to Autism Soccer, where we offer excellent programs for the development of your children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Autism Soccer answer your questions regarding autism

On today’s article, we answer all your questions.

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Types of autism spectrum disorders

Autism spectrum disorders can affect the communication process, social interactions, and present behavioral challenges. The symptoms can be recognized during the children’s early years, for that reason, parents must be very attentive to their behavior. However, several of these disorders appear for genetic causes, hence why doctors recommend that every kid should be genetically tested for any condition.

Since 2013, with the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth version), “autism spectrum disorders” is the terminology used to refer children with this diagnosis. The four previous denominations within the spectrum; autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder, are now all considered different manifestations of autism. Doctors use DSM-5 to unify their criteria and tests for a correct diagnosis of ASD, and thus have a better understatement of the various symptoms that present themselves in the children.

DSM-5 has three functional levels according to the support that children will need while growing up. These levels reflect how people within the spectrum can communicate, have social interactions, react to new situations, and manage daily life. But, even while the classification system is perfectly defined, it’s not always easy for doctors to fully evaluate a patient with symptoms of ASD and assign them to a specific level, especially because they can change levels while growing up and learning new skills.

Levels of ASD

The autism spectrum disorder can be so broad, that in it, there are individuals with severe intellectual and motor disabilities and others that have above average IQ; and while some people struggle with communication, others are public figures. That is the main reason behind the creation of the DSM-5’s three levels of ASD, which are:

Level 1

“Require support”: children and adults within this level have problems with communication and social interactions; usually people previously diagnosed with Asperger’s are here. This kind of people find it difficult to maintain conversations for long periods, and sometimes it’s hard for them to make friends. Routines are essential for them; even a small change can produce an adverse reaction. Therapy is a great way to help them develop social skills and control their anxiety.

Level 2

“Substantial support”: children and adults classified within this level of ASD have even more trouble with social interactions; some of them are non-verbal, don’t fully comprehend social cues, and their understanding of body language is practically non-existent. Casual observers can notice the difference between them and the neurotypical people. Both children and adults alike will need more specific types of therapy, such as sensory and occupational therapies, to engage in their surroundings.

Level 3

“Very substantial support”: children and adults placed in this level will require more attention by doctors and family because they have a severe lack of social skills and present repetitive and restrictive conducts that affect their lives and people around them. They really can’t tolerate any changes in their environments and have very few interests. Treatment can be challenging: therapy has to be more regular and cover a wide range of requirements, and they will also need a permanent caregiver to be in charge of them. Sometimes medication can help them to be calm and focused, but it must be administered at a doctor’s discretion.

This is a condition that can affect people in different ways, but that doesn’t mean they’re destined to have an unpleasant or dull life; on the contrary, most people within the spectrum try to enjoy their lives to the fullest while struggling with their daily challenges. These conditions don’t distinguish between races, gender, nationalities, and social status, anyone can be diagnosed with ASD.

Come to Autism Soccer, we offer excellent programs for the development of children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Types of autism with Autism Soccer

At Autism Soccer, we inform you all about this great theme of ASD.

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Strategies to Develop Social Skills in an ASD Child

As parents, you always want the best for your children, including a good social life with incredible friends. But when your little one is diagnosed with ASD, normal situations like making friends can become a challenge. Some strategies can help kids to develop social skills that will help them.

These strategies focus on the basics of social interactions, especially for small children with ASD that cannot fully comprehend all the process of human interactions. Children will always keep it simple, and kids within the spectrum struggle with social situations, but they still see the world simple.

The strategies!

Be a role model

Children are always following your actions, but those within the spectrum won’t understand all the socials behavior that they are observing, for that reason it would be better to take some time and explain to them what is happening. For example, in a family reunion or when a friend is paying a visit, even when shopping groceries the interactions with the store’s personnel can be confusing for your little one. Remember to keep a good behavior because children are observing all, and the explanations are important for the ones with ASD since their comprehension is better with the verbal description.

Talk about possible scenarios

Don’t keep with the interactions that his or her surroundings can show to them, think in the future and what he or she is going to observe. Make a list and discuss it with them, or watch a movie with them and try to explain every question related to relationships and scenarios that are developing on screen.

Roleplay

Even with the observation and the verbal explanations, there will be some interactions with their peers that can make them feel uncomfortable, so it can be good to act them out. Engage all the family here and go through different situations that kids can face, every member has to explain what is happening and how to behave correctly. Role play allows them to practice conversations, body language and other points of communications between humans, in a controlled environment.

Find support

Other families are suffering the same challenges as you, for that reason find and discuss with them how they are helping their little ones with their social skills. Maybe you can arrange a playdate for them, and they can practice the different situations that you have been explaining to them. Later, you can talk to the other parents and how were the interactions, and compare the developing.

Kids with ASD have a tough time with social interactions but believe that they can make friends, that they will speak with the family, and get involved in some activities. And when they start to get a better communication with their peers, others aspects like self-esteem, regulating emotions and motivation will also improve. Come to Autism Soccer and find out programs that will help with your kid’s socials interactions plus other benefits.

Communication in ASD.

Your kid will need to develop social skills to make friends, communicating with others and understand social situations.

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Autism and Bullying: What You Should Know

Living with autism bring many challenges, one of the most delicate and dangerous is the bullying. Kids with ASD are more propense to suffer harassment than other. To stand against it you, as parents, will need to work with the school, teachers, and classmates.

Children that have something different than others tend to be bullied at school and neighborhood. Here, at Autism Soccer, we considered ourselves to be against harassment. Through sports and recreation, we dedicate all efforts to teach family and people in general, how to properly interact with kids in the spectrum and other special needs. So please check these points and say NO to bullying!

  • Talk with the them: many times, children within the spectrum don’t realize that they are being bullied, so as parents you should sit down and talk with them in a way that it will be easy for them to absolutely understand it. The teachers also must be attentive to the behavior of every kid and talk about it in the classroom, that way all the students will get that bullying is no correct. Parents and teachers need to work as a team to encourage children to talk when they are not feeling good with their surrounds.

  • Make a plan: it’s important to have a plan to prevent bullying or to stop it when it’s happening; so develop point and steps, discuss it with teachers and every person that are close to your children, that way everybody will be prepared against bullying.

  • Tolerance: teaching tolerance will prevent bad behavior at home, school and recreation environments. This will work with every child; start a campaign at your neighborhood, work with the school to increase the information about tolerance, join the parents in the different recreation programs that your kid attend. All those efforts can generate a good vibe and change the life of people around your family.

  • Speak about ASD and other special needs: teachers that have in their classroom students with special needs, must talk with their students and make them fully understand what are the differences between them and why. Also, make them work together so they will integrate and have a feeling of belong.

  • Encourage kids self-advocacy: parents, teachers, trainers, and specialists can make plans and support kids to be against bullying, but children must learn how to advocate for themselves. After they learn what and how the bullying can appear, they have to communicate their feeling and why they don’t like others behavior. When kids speak up for themselves they won’t become an easy prey for bullies.

  • Know your children’s rights: many states have their own regulations against bullying and laws related to bullying children with special needs, so make a research and learn them, that way you and your kids will be protected legally in case bullying increased to the dangerous level.

  • Speak up!: never be afraid to speak up for your little ones as parents, as a teacher to defend children that are being bullied, and as a student to defend yourself. Bullying is an offend to human rights, and it can never be accepted as normal behavior, so please if you are the victim or only a witness of harassment, don’t stay quiet, speak up for them and for you! Try to write down or even recording every incident, that way you will have proof when you’ll make the report, follow the correct steps and stop bullying once and for all.

Bullying has become a dangerous trend nowadays, but as humans, we cannot let it become a normal situation, speak about it with your family, siblings, friends, and neighbors. Stand up for the victims and do whatever you can to stop it. In Autism Soccer you will find a safe and bullying-free environment for your children, come and check for yourselves how your kid can develop his or her abilities and practice a great sport.

tolerance is key

Friendship and tolerance are the base to stop bullying.

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Feeling of Failure in Autism

The environment, in general, can be very hostile towards people within the autism spectrum disorder; either by sensory saturation, by incomprehension of what’s happening, by zero empathy on the part of others towards him or her. We’re talking about an environment that makes it difficult daily, and as a result, we see that those pleasant moments are scarce.

But we must not forget that the person can develop a sustained sense of failure, an aspect that often begins in childhood. When a child with problems managing his own emotions and frustration presents explosive behaviors, he receives, in many cases, a correction of inappropriate behavior. That is, in the face of frustration at not being able to do something, he gets an attitude that he perceives as correct.

Autism and failure

This feeling of failure accompanies low self-esteem. A problem that, although many believe it wakes up in adolescence, we can begin to observe it in childhood. And there’s nothing sadder than seeing 5-year-olds with low self-esteem, although it’s sadder to see that nobody notices.

This can difficult the social life of the person with autism, and generate not only anxiety, frustration, and irritability, but also a sensation of failure. This can lead the person with autism to never assume new challenges in the future; creating a depressing feeling, which must be identified and stopped as soon as possible.

Working the self-determination and independence of the person is fundamental. It’s very important that we have as one of our objectives to promote independence, always create the necessary supports, and make sure that the person understands the process so he can succeed. The emotional reinforcer, always suitable to the age and environment of the person with autism, must be present in every step of the process.

Promoting independence and self-determination will strengthen the emotional state, the person must understand that things don’t always come out the first time.

The states of anxiety in people with autism are present since childhood. Understanding this is essential to develop educational and intervention programs in autism.

A program of emotional reinforcement is indicated for these situations.

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