Autism is known as a spectrum disorder because it involves a wide variety of symptoms that range in severity. Below, we will discuss how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed and the different levels of ASD that are considered in autism treatment in Durham and beyond.
What Criteria Do Professionals Consider When Diagnosing Someone with ASD?
Professionals, including pediatricians, speech pathologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to determine an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The different factors professionals consider when diagnosing someone with autism spectrum disorder include:
- Social communication difficulties
- Repetitive, restricted, and sensory interests or behaviors
- Severity ranking (support level)
Level 1 of Autism
People who have level one autism often face social challenges, including difficulty initiating conversations with other people and maintaining interest in a conversation. With regard to behaviors, a person with level one autism may be uncomfortable with sudden changes and require a structured, predictable daily routine.
Level 2 of Autism
Individuals with level two autism require more support than individuals with level one autism. Individuals with level two autism may speak in short sentences and limit discussions to specific topics. An individual may also have difficulty understanding or implementing nonverbal communication, such as using facial expressions to convey meaning.
Level 3 of Autism
Individuals who are diagnosed with level three autism require the highest level of support amongst the three levels of autism. Individuals with level three autism have difficulty using and understanding verbal and nonverbal communication. With level three autism, individuals may limit or avoid contact with other people and have difficulty engaging in imaginary play. Individuals with this level of autism may also experience a high level of anxiety when situations involve change and difficulty with tasks that require refocus or the shifting of focus from one task to another.
What To Know When Seeking Autism Treatment Near Durham
It is possible for an individual with level one autism to be able to live a relatively independent lifestyle with minimal support. With level two autism, individuals require substantial support with communicating and dealing with daily situations. Individuals with level three autism depend on others to help them cope with various situations through the use of therapy and other resources. ShineLight Services provides autism support services to adults diagnosed with all levels of autism in North Carolina. Contact us today for more information.
ShineLight Provides Autism Treatment Near Durham and Beyond
ShineLight was created with the distinct purpose of providing a brighter life and future for individuals with autism. ShineLight serves as a guiding light for individuals and their families by leading the way in support services and community advocacy. Their service areas include: Fayetteville, Wake, Sampson, Scotland, Duplin, Wayne, Lenoir, Greene, Wilson, Edgecombe, Durham, Johnston, Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson, and Bladen Counties. Contact us today.