The estimation of changes in the patterns and numbers of the cases of autism in the US has recently become complicated. The main debate being about the documented cases of the autism spectrum disorder.
In the previous years, it was much easier to pin down the exact rates of autism. The cases back then also did not appear as much as they do now. For example, in the 1970s, and 1980s, the reports on ASD concluded that every 1 out of the 2000 children suffered from autism.
There was a survey conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2012 and 2013. The results of it showed the number of cases went up a lot to every 1 in every 80 children having ASD.
In the following year, the CDC conducted a National Health Interview Survey. This was to note any progressions in the patterns of autism across the US. The survey showed that ASD was more prevalent than it had ever been. Every 1 in the 45 children was having the symptoms of autism.
The new questionnaire used in the 2014 survey by the CDC may hold an important role in it. The questionnaire used in the most recent survey was different. It also asked about Asperger’s syndrome. Surveys held before that did not do so.
Asperger’s syndrome used to have its own, separate diagnosis until 2013. The syndrome got named with the autism spectrum disorders. Hence, it was no longer considered a different health condition.
With the new addition to the autism diagnosis, 11000 families took part in the survey. They were questioned about the diagnosis of a pervasive developmental disorder. Asperger’s, and autism spectrum disorder were also included.
Read more on the CDC’s report here.
The question on Asperger’s syndrome held a significant role. It may be responsible for a sudden rise in the rates of autism cases in the most recent survey. But it is argued that there are also a number of other reasons which have played a big important role also.
Autism and Asperger’s syndrome have similar symptoms in children. Patients of both also face the almost same issues. Children who have either of the conditions have similar troubles. For example, the inability to make eye contact is a common problem. Expressing feelings and picking up body language also becomes difficult for them.
Children having either of the conditions can both be and most are sensitive to food, sounds, and even clothing. They can both have obsessive behavior as well. Sometimes, it can even be hard to differentiate a child having autism and a child having Asperger’s syndrome.
However, there is one main difference in both of the conditions that are how they both are perceived. Children with Asperger’s can have normal language skill and can even display high IQ levels. This contrasts with the low IQ and poor language displayed by children with autism.
The treatment for both autism and Asperger’s syndrome can be both different and similar at the same time. For autism, the treatments include the use of natural supplements. For example, fish oil capsules, Vitamin D, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and L-carnitine.
In the case of Asperger’s syndrome, there are specific medications. Natural treatments for the condition may also work. Doctors usually suggest psychological therapies such as social skill therapy. Behavior modification, physical and occupational therapy are also some other options.
Read more on the conventional treatment of autism and Asperger’s syndrome here.
When it comes to the causes, there are no exact reasons for either of the condition. Both Asperger’s and autism are observed to be linked to genetics. Usually, there is a combination of different factors that lead to autism and Asperger’s.
Thus, eliminating a separate diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome makes perfect sense. The takeaway from the research is not just that the there has been a new addition to the questionnaire. It is also that the numbers have also risen generally.
The increase in the rates of ASD in the US accentuates the importance of diagnosing the early symptoms of autism. This is fundamental for reducing the chances of any further complications. Early diagnosis can ensure better and effective treatment for the child.