Posted by: katlea611 | May 13, 2012

Autism Spectrum Disorder

I haven’t mentioned it here yet but a year ago, I brought Ethan to a developmental pedia and he took and was given some tests and in the end, the diagnosis was that he had Autism Spectrum Disorder.  What is ASD?  


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.  People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people. ASDs are “spectrum disorders.”  That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe.  People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction.  But there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are, and the exact nature of the symptoms.

There are three different types of ASDs:

  • Autistic Disorder (also called “classic” autism)
    This is what most people think of when hearing the word “autism.”  People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual disability.
  • Asperger Syndrome
    People with Asperger syndrome usually have some milder symptoms of autistic disorder.  They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests.  However, they typically do not have problems with language or intellectual disability.
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also called “atypical autism”)
    People who meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome, but not all, may be diagnosed with PDD-NOS. People with PDD-NOS usually have fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder.  The symptoms might cause only social and communication challenges.


Ethan has mild autism and exhibits some speech problems and academic delays.  But he’s improving everyday with therapy, patience and structured lessons.  He’s been doing his workbooks more frequently these days and without prompting with me.  He’s learning to correct his grammar and he’s trying to tackle math.  It’s not easy at all, believe me.  We have good days and bad.  But we persevere. And I can see how much Ethan has grown and improved over the years.  We still have much to do though.  This year, we’re going to do First Grade.  I’m trembling already.  In apprehension, excitement and anticipation.  It’ll be tough.  And I mean TOUGH.  But I think Ethan’s ready. Question is: Am I?  😀

Will we get through this?  Will Ethan improve?  Will we be able to get over the label?  I believe we can.  And we will. 

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