If there are any truisms regarding disorders of the Autism spectrum, it is the fact that the disorder cannot be determined by employing a specific blood test that targets it. In addition to this, an MRI will not reveal that the disorder is present. Interestingly enough, one of two things that typically occurs during the time of diagnosis is that it is diagnosed improperly or misdiagnosed as something else when the disorder actually is present in the child. There is also the issue of borderline symptoms of Autism.
What do we mean by borderline symptoms? Borderline symptoms of Autism are the same as the "full-blown" symptoms with two exceptions in that they do not occur with the same frequency or severity that comprises the full diagnosis of the disorder. The borderline symptoms of the disorder include difficulties or problems involving:
o body use
o developmental and social issues
o making transitions
o social skills
Answers provided by the child's parents and other caregivers (i.e. the day care center personnel, teachers in school, etc.), directly observing the child, and performing several developmental screenings, are the three components that comprise the diagnosis of Autism.
Adaptability and making transitions - changing from one activity to the next or not being able to tolerate receiving new clothing are a couple of prime examples involving the difficulties involved with adapting or making changes and transitions. One of the most common symptoms of Autism is the inability to tolerate any type of change in routine.
Language issues - delays in the development of a child's language skills are extremely common with Autism spectrum disorders. It can range from slight difficulties encountered with communicating to being completely non-verbal and not speaking at all. Being overly verbal while dominating a conversation or just making strange noises for communication purposes are both common symptoms.
Physical behavior - although they do not occur as frequently and with the same severity as the common symptoms, the borderline symptoms of Autism include certain physical aspects such as behavior that is not normal or unusual. Certain symptoms include:
o butting one's head against a floor or wall
o repetitive hand motions
o rocking and spinning in place
Social skills - no matter what disorder of the spectrum you are talking about, there are borderline symptoms of Autism that relate to the affected child's social skills. The child could be extremely fearful, outgoing and even overbearing, or very shy, or they may display more anger or fussiness than other children.
Other developmental and sensory issues - other indications of the borderline symptoms of Autism may include negative reactions to color, lighting, smells, sounds, and textures. Less than average or even poor coordination may be evident as well. Interestingly enough, any one of these symptoms on their own does not indicate the presence of Autism. However, if there is a cluster of these symptoms occurring between two to 10 years of age, a team of educational, medical, psychological, and vision professionals should examine and evaluate the child.
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