Today, April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day!
Autism is a mental condition and usually appears in the early stages of childhood. But it’s not a single condition. It comes from a spectrum of disorders. A person can have an autistic disorder where the persona has significant language delays, social interaction, unusual behavior and interests. But there is also Asperger syndrome—a pervasive development disorder that has milder effects than autism disorder.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts about 1 out of 68 children in the United States are on the autistic spectrum. It has become one of the most common disorders in children development. The hallmark symptom is impaired social interactions. Autistic people may or may not understand social cues. They may not answer or respond to their name as often or hold eye contact when they speak to people. Many kids with autism even repeat their behaviors such as rocking or twirling.
So what about Asperger’s syndrome?
Before autistic disorder and Asperger’s syndrome were two different conditions. Though it’s a recent study, it shows that there is no subtype of a larger disorder. Instead, characteristics are stated making the symptoms of Asperger’s underneath the autism spectrum. It was considered to be placed on the “high functioning” end–affecting kids and adults with difficulty in social interaction. With that being said, social anxiety is different than Aspergers. Social anxiety is a symptom and is based on the social situation. People with Aspergers have significant problems with social interactions. They usually have a hard time understanding social cues and have a hard time developing social empathy.