Could I be autistic? This is the question that must be running in your mind if you have someone in your family or loved ones who have been diagnosed with this condition.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is prevalent all around the globe with approximately 70M people or 1% of the world population diagnosed with this condition.
This fact and the possible presence of this condition in a family member of a loved one poses this question in mind could I be autistic?
In this read, you will go through some of the parameters that can help you to scrutinize yourself on the scale of autism spectrum disorder symptoms, and judge could I be autistic with any of the underlying characteristics present in yourself. The next step would be to consult a medical professional and get yourself medically reviewed.
Can a person be slightly autistic?
Can a person be slightly autistic? No, a person cannot be sightly autistic. No such thing or term exists. People may show some characteristics or signs of autism typical to that of an autistic person.
Like following a strict routine, preferring more alone time, avoiding loud noises and bright lights, and having strict rules in their lives.
On the other hand, a person can be mildly autistic. This form is also called Asperger’s syndrome in the official medical term. Mild autism diagnosis identifies an autistic person who faces difficulty in understanding the body language of other people.
As well as the points made in sarcasm or joke (taking them literally). They also have trouble in expressing and understanding emotions like pain, anger, etc.
Is it normal to have some autistic traits?
Is it normal to have some autistic traits? The simple answer is yes. It is normal to have some autistic traits while not having the condition itself. According to a study conducted to find out the prevalence of some signs of autism in individuals.
The study depicted that out of the participants of the study, 30% had at least one of the signs of the symptoms of autism, while not having the condition itself.
Broader autism phenotype:
People with Broader Autism Phenotype have some signs that are common to Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD). But these people do not show enough signs or symptoms to get the person diagnosed with autism.
Can mild autism go undiagnosed?
The simple answer is yes. In many cases, the mild or high functioning form of autism spectrum disorder goes undiagnosed. These people with autism do not come under the radar of the diagnosis even until they reach adulthood. These people with autism in turn start using the coping skills and strategies to get fit in the society and perform their daily tasks.
So, the question of ‘could I be autistic’ must be pursued and the individuals must get medically reviewed by the professionals to get help in the diagnosis and treatment even if it is mild autism or Asperger syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of autism in adults?
What are the Symptoms of autism in adults? There is a broad range of symptoms of autism that present differently while a question is circling your mind of ‘could I be autistic?’ that can be identified to proceed to the official diagnosis of the disorder.
The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (J Autism Dev Disord), DSM-5, and American Psychiatric Association lays out all such symptoms of autism that can help in the official diagnosis of the disorder.
In many cases, the same symptoms appear in people while differing in severity. In some people, it is found in severe form with severe symptoms. While in some people it is found in milder forms, having the mild symptoms of autism.
Social and Communication Skills:
People under the autism spectrum have problem behaviors in terms of social interaction and understanding social cues. The medically reviewed symptoms of autism in terms of social interaction problems are listed below:
Avoiding eye contact or having poor eye contact
Getting overly anxious about the social situations
Finding it challenging to make friends
Preferring being on their own
Seeming rude, blunt, and not interested in others unintentionally in social situations
Taking sarcasm and jokes literally without understanding them
Finding difficulty in understanding and expressing feelings
Getting too close to other people
Getting very anxious if someone touches you
Showing inappropriate or poor facial expressions
Poor language skills
Restrictive and Repetitive behaviors:
The diagnostic criteria of autism also underline some signs of restriction and repetition of behaviors as per the presence of autism in adults.
Having the same routine each day and getting overly anxious if any change happens in it
Having the same meal every day
Sticking to the same outfit every day
Strong liking of planning things carefully before the execution
Noticing small things around them that others miss. Like smells, sounds, tastes, patterns, etc.
Having a keen interest in certain subjects, and avoiding others.
There are some treatment options available for people with ASD diagnosis. Early intervention is the best approach to be used for early diagnosis, treatment, and appropriate accommodations given after the official diagnosis. For older children and adults, it becomes more challenging to get diagnosed and treated.
Some common treatment options that are used for the treatment of autism are:
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
Early intervention, diagnosis, and treatment can help you improve social skills, communication skills, repetitive behaviors, and other signs in such people related to autism.
What is Autism?
Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disorder that usually appears in early childhood, and affects the social and communication skills, relationship management, and self-regulation of a person.
American Psychiatric Association classifies this condition under the list of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect the daily life of an autistic person and usually make its roots during the developmental stages of a child.
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) groups together the developmental disorders of Classic Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) under one umbrella of autism spectrum disorders.
As per credible sources like DSM-5, Autism Speaks, etc., there is no single cause of the disorder in autistic people. Children born with autism are exposed to certain genetic, nongenetic, and environmental risk factors that contribute to the condition during the development of the child in the mother’s womb.
Having other developmental disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also increases the chances of developing this disorder.
Being born to older parents also increases the chances of autism in children, especially related to the maternal age of more than 40 years.
Levels of Autism:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is classified under the following sub-types of autism:
Level 1 (lowest level of severity)
Level 2 (mid-level of severity)
Level 3 (highest level of severity or severe autism)
As per the levels of severity of symptoms, autism spectrum disorder can also be classified as:
High functioning autism
This classification in terms of high functioning autism and low functioning autism is not official, rather it is a judgemental classification. The autism diagnosis does not identify the ‘high’ and ‘low’ categories of autism spectrum disorder, but it is done as per the observations.
While diagnosing the condition in people, some medically reviewed diagnostic methods and peer-reviewed studies are used. This diagnosis is preceded by your question of “could I be autistic?”, which follows the consultation with the doctor who will get you medically reviewed and provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Children with autism are relatively easier to be diagnosed and treated, where the doctor- upon careful observation- can provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Autism spectrum quotient:
Autism spectrum quotient is a self-administered questionnaire that is used and designed to measure the presence of autism traits in individuals. This is done by the person’s own subject self-assessment that helps the doctors better to identify the condition.
The above read is designed to give some answers to your question of ‘could I be autistic?’ using some of the credible and best resources available like J Autism Dev Disord. Regardless of your age, autism is a disorder that impacts your life.
Early intervention is the best approach to identify and treat the condition. But even if you are an adult, and you notice some autistic symptoms in yourself or any of your loved ones, you have the right and responsibility to diagnose and treat the condition and find out the answer of ‘Could I be Autistic?’.