There are a lot of queries and preconceived notions about matters concerning autism by the general public. Strangely enough, bizarre questions such as “Is autism contagious?”, “Is it a mental illness?”, “Is it a result of a failed abortion?” and “Does immunization cause autism?” still exists. This is part of the reason why learning centers encourage discourse as it is key to raise the public’s awareness about autism. 

The contemporary media often has a single representation of autistic individuals – a misunderstood genius disorder. While it is partly true, the lack of representation still contributes to the public’s opinion when it comes to autism. 

People often make assumptions, and it’s only right to set the record straight about what autism is. On the other end of the scale, there are parents who, with the right intentions have far more personal questions apart from the curious and sometimes odd questions about autism.

In today’s blog, we will answer 3 of the most frequently asked questions about Autism Spectrum Disorder. So let’s get started.


  1. What is Autism Spectrum Disorder, and how does it differ from Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction, speech, learning, and communication. Since it is a spectrum, symptoms can be the same but the degree of challenges, severity, and impact can differ from one child to another. It has three common types and Mild Autism or Autism is one of them along with Asperger’s and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified or PDD-NOS,

  1. What are the symptoms of ASD?

As mentioned above, although symptoms of ASD may be the same, it can affect in varying degrees of severity. For instance, one child may be overly talkative while the other can be non-verbal but both have their own issues in communication. Symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty in social interaction
    • Children with ASD have difficulty in processing information, and they have a hard time understanding social cues or things that are implied. Emotional reciprocity is also a challenge. 
  • Communication difficulties
    • Some ASD children have excellent basic language skills while others do not. Some maybe even nonverbal, requiring speech therapy. There may be disparities in their nonverbal and verbal communication as well.
  • Repetitive behavior
    • An ASD child may display a pattern of repetitive behavior. They can also possess obsessive behavior over a thing, topic, hobby or interest. 
  • Sensory difficulties
    • For a child with ASD, processing sensory information can be difficult as their brain is unable to balance the 5 senses. Several autistic children can be so attuned with their surroundings that it can be painful. ASD children may also be overly sensitive to light, noise, tastes, smells, and even textures.  
  • Unique abilities
    • This is the common representation of autism in the media. Often, children with ASD possess genius abilities and talents known as savant skills.
  1. What are the causes of ASD?

Possible causes of ASD include an amalgamation of environmental, genetic, and biological factors. Certain genes are believed by scientists to be instrumental in the development of ASD. There is still no clear cause for ASD but specialists suggest that brain abnormalities may occur in the early stages of brain development inside the womb. Surprisingly, there are people who argue that immunization and vaccines are causes of ASD – this is simply not true. Immunization is crucial and essential to protecting children from potentially life-threatening diseases.

Talk to an expert

If you suspect your child has ASD, consult our specialists at Pulse Learning and Therapy Center today for a proper Autism diagnosis. It may be overwhelming but early intervention is important for your child to have the best quality of life possible. Read our blogs to learn more about Autism, and other helpful resources about ASD, Down Syndrome, ADHD, and their treatments.

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