Autism was first defined in 1942. A lot of time has passed since then and a lot of research has been done on autism. So what exactly is autism in our modern world? Today we will take a look at the latest version of autism, and all the information that has been gathered on the subject so far. Are you ready to find out if you are actually autistic? Stay tuned for our special Am I Autistic Quiz! So…Ever wondered if you have autism?
What is Autism?
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which means that during the development of the central nervous system there are certain changes in structure and structure. A lot of people still see autism as a serious mental illness, when in fact autism is a normal biological phenomenon that makes the brain of an autistic person work a little differently than the brain of a non-autistic person.
How the brain works affects a person’s behavior and ways of thinking, so autism affects an autistic person’s entire life. It is also worth noting that autism is congenital, it is not a disorder that is acquired through trauma or experience. Autism can’t be cured, one has to learn how to live with it in order to fit into the world as well as possible. Autism can be divided into two specific characteristics that describe how autistic people behave.
Autism is all about:
• repetitiveness of operations
• problems with social skills
The first feature is very characteristic in autistic people. Such people have a great need for routine and monotony of daily tasks and duties. This can apply to various things, such as eating only a few tried-and-true favorite meals and a reluctance to try new ones. Autistic people also often like to plan their days, make to-do lists and organize their time – this helps them stick to this routine. Repetition can also refer to special interests characteristic of autism.
Autistic people tend to be more intensely interested in various things, their hobbies are more passions and even obsessions. On the other hand, low social skills can mean, for example, limited speech, or specific speech – using words that people don’t usually use or even know. It’s also problems understanding other people’s emotions and intentions.
Autistic people may have trouble understanding a person’s intentions based on tone of voice, spoken sentences they take directly. That’s why it’s sometimes hard for them to understand sarcasm, irony or metaphor. Some autistic people may also have trouble recognizing emotions based on facial expressions. In addition, autism consists of other, more diverse traits that may or may not be present in every autistic person.
It is worth noting that autism is not a homogeneous disorder, but a whole spectrum. Each autistic person may experience it in their own individual way. In summary, autism is a set of traits, but not every autist will have these traits. On the other hand, repetition and problems with social interaction are the most common and the main ones when it comes to diagnosing autism.
Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Asperger’s syndrome was known as one of the varieties of autism, it was a disorder on the autism spectrum. This syndrome indicated symptoms concerning unusual skills and behaviors, such as above-average, visual memory, unusual long-term memory, the ability to keep information immediately available while solving a problem while tending to forget thoughts quickly, and detailed knowledge of a particular field such as history or biology.
This sydrome has been used by psychologists for years, but a lot has changed in recent times. First, the use of Asperger’s name was discontinued due to his suspicious past of violence against his patients and children. So it was decided not to take the name of such a cruel person to describe people’s traits and behavior. Eventually, the existence of such a syndrome in general was abandoned, and it is no longer in the current specialized classifications of mental disorders.
The new classification brought a revolution in the diagnosis of autism and all autism spectrum disorders. In January 2022. World Health Organization adopted ICD-11, also a new category of autism was brought in the US DSM 5. This means that autism is now no longer graded – there is no such thing as low or high, childhood or atypical autism.
Now there is an autism spectrum disorder, which takes more into account the individuality of the person. With this change, it is easier to diagnose a person with autism and easier to determine the appropriate assistance for him or her, as each autistic person may have different needs.
Symptoms of autism
As we have already mentioned, autism is not a disease but a disorder – and this must be distinguished. It’s true that autistic people often go to therapy and take medications, but autism can’t be cured, you just have to learn to live with it to be comfortable and well.
Autistic people remain autistic for the rest of their lives because it is genetically conditioned, the latest research says, although some scientists continue to argue on the subject. We still don’t know everything about autism, so in time, perhaps scientists will reveal new news about autism to us. However, much more is known now than 70 years ago, when autism was first described.
The autism spectrum accommodates various features. The two most common are a variety of problems with social interaction and repetitive activities. But is there anything else that might indicate autism? The traits we outline here may or may not appear in an autistic person. It all depends on the individual personality of the person.
Autism in adults can manifest itself in various ways. If we are talking about repetitive behavior, stimming is also common. Stimming is the tendency to make repetitive movements or sounds for example snapping fingers, waving a leg, counting, singing the same phrase of a song over and over again. Stimming often occurs in stressful situations, but not every autistic person experiences it.
Another sign is difficulty maintaining eye contact especially when talking. This is one of those traits that makes social interaction difficult. In general, austic people may have difficulty interacting with people because internally they usually feel that they are different, that they don’t fit into a group, into society. In addition, when they encounter intolerance and rejection, such unpleasant experiences can make social interaction even more difficult.
Of the other hallmarks that many people have noticed is the frequent adoption of a specific body posture. For example, a posture like T-Rex Arms or T-Rex Hands. This posture looks like holding the hands in the position the T-Rex dinosaur does – can you imagine that? The arms are raised to the height of the abdomen and the hands hang slightly. We don’t know why for many autistics this posture is comfortable and they often impulsively adopt it. Regarding walking, autistic people may tend to walk on tiptoe all the time.
Autistic people are more sensitive to external stimuli. Music that is too loud, even quiet sounds such as the ticking of a clock can disturb autistics. For many autistics, too, certain materials, textures and things in general can cause discomfort. This is already an individual issue, but it can be, for example, a huge sense of discomfort when you are buttoned up to the neck, or when you are wearing wet clothes.
Autistic people may experience such discomforts more and are then unable to focus on anything else. Sensory problems may also explain why autistic people adopt unusual body postures. They primarily try to get comfortable in an effort to cope with external stimuli. It has also been noted that autistic people may tend to sit on the floor. Such a need may indicate sensory overload.
Another common symptom is masking, which occurs when autistic people try to conform to social situations by pretending to be non-autistic. Based on observation, they learn what to say, do, how to behave, and they do this to gain acceptance because they know that if they were completely themselves, they would be considered strange.
Masking is usually invisible to others, so we may not realize how much energy it costs autistic people. Autistic people may not even realize that they are pretending to be someone else, they do it instinctively especially when they are undiagnosed. When such a person uses masking frequently, they may be subject to a constant feeling of fatigue. This is really difficult for them, so it is worth teaching about autism to everyone and tolerating differences.
The good things about autism
Nowadays, great importance is placed on not stigmatizing people with disorders, and this also applies to autistic people. Autistics think, feel and behave a little differently, and may have some problems adjusting to our world, which is most comfortable for those who fit best into social norms. But that doesn’t mean autistic people are doomed to failures and unsuccessful lives.
Autism also has its pluses, which are worth knowing, especially as an autistic person, so that you can confidently exercise your abilities. The first plus may be that autistic people often do better in learning, they are very curious about the world especially in subjects that uniquely interest them. Autistic behaviors such as a strong focus on an activity and a need for routine can do a lot when it comes to learning. Autistics may also have an overall better memory than average people.
Also when it comes to social life, it must be said that autistic people are very interesting and unique individuals who can attract people with their passion, creativity and positive approach to life. The best example of this we have in the phenomenon of the Pixie Dream Girl meaning a strange, eccentric girl, which the creators of movies, TV series and books often use for the development of the plot. And any Pixie Dream Girl who is different from everyone else is precisely different probably because she exhibits autistic traits. So autism can be a positive trait that fascinates others.
Autistics may also feel more at ease when it comes to social norms that they do not understand. Therefore, such people do not succumb to social pressures like others, which makes them more aware of their needs and themselves. They are not so afraid of other people’s opinions, they live their lives the way they want.
However, some austistic people, because of their greater sensitivity, may even be more bothered by people and the fact that they feel socially unaccepted. Then they usually try to hide it with masking. Not all autistics, but some may also have various talents. However, it should be remembered that not all autistics need to be extraordinarily gifted, this is both not common in non-autistic people.
Autism spectrum disorders are one of a group of neurodiversity. The definition of neurodiversity was brought in to show that our minds can work differently, that some brains have different capabilities but also different limitations. The concept itself is about embracing diverse ways of reasoning, perceiving the world and the resulting behaviors rather than classifying them as diseases.
Many neurological disorders were and are considered to be necessary mental health conditions. ADHD, autism spectrum, Tourettes syndrome, schizophrenia, OCD, dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dissociative disorders, schizoaffective disorders and many others are among the group described. The goal of creating the neurodiversity group was to reduce stigma and work to give people with disorders a better quality of life and acceptance.
As we mentioned, the group of homogeneous disorders includes various disorders including Autism and ADHD. These two disorders are very similar, so can they occur simultaneously in one person? Yes, which is why the term AuDHD was created to describe combinations of autism and ADHD. These two disorders can have many symptoms in common, and they also interact with each other intensifying some symptoms. For example, in AuDHD a common symptom is sudden and frequent mood swings, autism makes a person very emotionally sensitive, while ADHD causes problems with proper emotion regulation resulting in noticeable mood swings.
Another symptom can be procrastination and problems finishing things to the end. Autism makes AuDHD people want to do things their own way, while ADHD wants to do it as quickly as possible resulting in conflict and unfinished tasks. For AuDHD people also maintaining relationships and friendships can be much more difficult. Also, simple trips to the grocery stores can be challenging for AuDHD people. The sesnoric overload of autism and ADHD and the quick decision-making problems of ADHD are not the best combination.
Also, people with AuDHD can have trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially with nutrition. Autism can cause pickiness, while ADHD makes us forget to eat regularly. Do you have autism, ADHD or perhaps AuDHD? Check each in turn starting with autism. However, remember that a professional diagnosis is always the best option. When your symptoms are interfering too much with your daily functioning, it’s worth considering therapy to help you find your way in this world, which unfortunately wasn’t designed for special people like you.
RAADS-R Popular Autism Test
If you need something more specific, take this RAADS-R in addition to our quiz. It will take you a little longer, to say the least, but it’s really worth it. RAADS-R is a special test for autism that detects it well especially in people who have not been previously diagnosed. It is tailored for people over the age of 16, preferably with a normal IQ level.
The test is based on the DSM-5 classification, the new version, so it fits current standards. In this test you get a score based on a number, the higher the score the higher the probability of autism. In the results they will show you a scale of probability. So don’t wait any longer, take all the tests you need, and even if that’s not enough for you, there’s nothing left to do but get diagnosed by a good psychiatrist and be absolutely sure!
Click here if you want to take the original RAADS-R Test!
Ever Wondered if You Have Autism?
In conclusion, let’s remember that we should never judge anyone. We don’t know what they struggle with and what kind of battles they fight daily. We have no idea what they’ve been through. There may be a smile on the outside and despair in the heart. It is so important to show interest and let go of criticism. When we let someone feel that they are worthless for some reason, it may turn out to be a knife to their heart.
Why are we talking about this? Because today we eflected on autistic, emotional, and other disorders. People who struggle with them sometimes face painful comments that result from ignorance or malice. They often experience enormous emotional suffering because of their problem. They also often feel on the side of society. They may think that they do not fit, different than everyone else, or even worse…
You can’t see all of this outside, right? If we see someone behaving atypically, it would be highly inappropriate and painful to mock or taunt them. Dear readers, it is crucial to approach others with kindness and a warm heart, right?
So let’s reiterate what autism is again. It is a highly variable neurodevelopmental disorder involving problems with communication, interaction with the outside world, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Additionally, at any age, autism can manifest itself, in different severity, as a loss of any language or social skills. Unfortunately, there is no cure for autism. However, with proper therapy, care, and suitable medication, an autistic person can make progress in development. Still, there’s a great variety of spectrum among autistic individuals.
Have you ever wondered if you might have autism? If this question bothers you, you’ve come to the right place. Today we have prepared a quiz that contains questions that can lead you to the answer. We collected them and prepared them carefully. Of course, this test is not a diagnosis. Don’t take the result as a fact. If you are worried about anything, we encourage you to talk to a therapist. They really want to help you and save you from suffering.
This quiz aims to draw attention and deepen the public’s understanding of the disorder. We also earnestly wish to inspire everyone to spread goodness everywhere. We want people who are different in some way to feel good among us. Let us treat everyone kindly, dear ones!
Is autism a disease or some kind of illness?
No, autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which means that the brain works properly, but in a different way.
Can autism be cured?
No, autism is inherited, it cannot be cured. The solution is to learn how to live well with the disorder.
Are there various degrees of autism, such as high-functioning autism?
No, gradations are no longer used. Now autism is presented on a spectrum of various traits and behaviors.
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