Having a child with autism can be very challenging, and it is even more so when he is in the low functioning end of the spectrum. People who are diagnosed with Level 3 Autism, like my son, will require all the support, love, and understanding that he can get from our family and me. The symptoms of his autism are very evident, and at most times, it affects his daily functioning. He has struggles being social, and have issues communicating both verbally and nonverbally. Because of this, his behavior can also be rigid.
But I didn’t lose hope. I know for a fact that there treatment programs available for my son and other children with this disorder. This is the reason why early intervention is essential, and the immediate implementation of the program is necessary.
What Is Low Functioning Autism?
There is low functioning autism and high functioning autism. The difference between the two disorders is the behavior of the individuals challenged by it. People with low functioning autism cannot function properly in their daily lives because of their disorder. They will have problems expressing themselves, communicating with other people, being social, and they will also have issues in managing their behavior.
How Is Low Functioning Autism Diagnosed?
For experts and specialists, they can diagnose ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder during a child’s early childhood years. Some can even diagnose ASD during infancy. How do they do it?
There are guidelines in determining if a child has ASD. This is also why most kindergarten schools all over the world have psychometricians who observe the behavior of their learners. If they see signs of the disorder in a child, they will inform the parents and recommend for them to see a neurodevelopmental pediatrician for a proper diagnosis on their child.
Children with ASD are delayed in these neurodevelopmental abilities such as talking or communication, self-soothing, cognitive skills, and more. They will not be able to function properly, and they need physical assistance most of the time. Also, children with low functioning ASD will most likely have a correlating condition like epilepsy, or Fragile X syndrome.
Fragile X Syndrome And Low Functioning ASD
Researchers believe that ASD is genetically predisposed, which is why it is sometimes diagnosed together with another genetic condition called Fragile X Syndrome. The latter is a condition wherein the development of a child, mostly his learning abilities, are gravely affected. He will have delay issues with his speech and reading. The child will also manifest anxiety, hyperactivity, and low impulse control. Studies show that a third of the kids with ASD are suffering from Fragile X Syndrome.
Epilepsy And Low Functioning ASD
It was assessed by Dr. Patrick Bolton and his team the relationship between epilepsy and ASD. They observed that 22% of the children with low functioning autism ASD also have epilepsy. The kids were having seizures at least once a week or every two weeks by the time they were ten years old up until they were eleven. These seizures were controlled by medication, and girls were more prone to having it than boys.
There are so many things to know about low functioning ASD. Next week, another blog about the topic will be discussed. Until then, good luck! See you next week!