There are several different conditions which fall on the ‘autism spectrum’. Some of them are regarded as more severe than others. One condition which appears right at the top of the spectrum is known as ‘classic autism’. This is the condition that most people think of when they think about autism. On this page, we are going to look at the definition of this condition, as well as discuss a little about the symptoms often associated with it.
Autism is a name given to a range of conditions which have an impact on multiple areas of development such as communication, social interactions, and repetitive behaviors etc. Nobody knows what causes this, although there are some suggestions that it could be genetic. We don’t even know whether somebody is born with autism or whether the condition develops as the child’s brain matures after they are born. Some doctors have started to carry out research on whether an earlier diagnosis of the condition can have an impact on how autism affects the individual.
Those who are suffering from classic autism will exhibit a range of different symptoms. It is worth noting that, like most other conditions on the autism spectrum, every person will suffer from the symptoms in their own unique way. Some people may have different severities of symptoms, some people may not have all the symptoms. Unlike other forms of autism, however, classic autism is simpler to diagnose. Symptoms tend to exhibit themselves from the age of three upwards, and the doctor should be able to tell whether the child is suffering from classic autism or not.
Symptoms of classic autism may include:
- Severe intellectual difficulties. Those that suffer from autism may severely struggle in learning new concepts. This can lead to language impairment. In some people suffering from classic autism, they may never be able to grasp the language, which means that their ability to communicate will be minimal.
- ‘Savants’: Some people suffering from autism are defined as ‘savants’. They may be suffering intellectual ability in some areas, but they may excel in other areas. For example, many autistic people may be brilliant at art, have a fabulous memory, or just are great with numbers. To some, this may seem odd considering their intellect is lacking in other areas.
- Those with autism may find it difficult to express their emotions. They may express them in overexaggerated ways, or they may not exhibit them at all. For example, they may lack empathy with people which can make it appears they are ‘withdrawn’.
- They avoid social situations. They have no idea how to socialise. A child, or even an adult suffering from classic autism, may lock themselves away from hours on end with no desire to communicate with people. If they are in social situations then they may not make eye contact with others.
- They may be highly obsessive about something. Those with classic autism tend to collect something or be highly knowledgeable about a certain subject. They may do everything to pursue their interests.
- Those suffering from classic autism tend to not leave their ‘comfort zone’. They like things which are repetitive. For example, if they eat the same thing the same way, they won’t like even the slightest change to it because it is ‘different’. If you disrupt the daily schedule of somebody suffering from classic autism, then they may just ‘shut down’.
- They may be violent in their actions. Sometimes these violent outbursts can be quite extreme and it may be tough to control the person (Can also happen occasionally to higher functioning people as well).
Remember, you should not be diagnosing autism yourself if you believe your child has it. Instead, consult with a doctor who will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and information on how you can deal with the situation.