Types of Autism – Learn the Differences Between Kanner’s Autism, Asperger’s and Rett Syndromes

The five types of autism, all of which are neurodevelopmental disorders, all exhibit similar symptoms, but each one is slightly different. The five types of autism are Kanner’s Autism (the most common one), Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Rett Syndrome is the most different from the others. For one thing it favors girls just about entirely, while all other types of autism seem to have more male sufferers.  It’s quite rare with only one affected out of every ten to fifteen thousand children. The baby begins to develop normally, but somewhere between six and eighteen months this all changes and the child not only stops progressing but also they begin to regress, losing any of the progress she has made. She will no longer cuddle, and if she had been babbling or even had a few words, she will lose them. She can no longer control her feet and will wring her hands. Researchers do not as of yet understand these last symptoms.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is similar in that it too is a regressive disorder.  This favors boys and does not begin to show symptoms before three to four years. By this time the child has meet many of their early milestones. They are walking, potty trained, affectionate and will be speaking.  They’ll enjoy playing with their peers.  Then it will begin without warning and over the space of just a few months all this progress will stop. The child will lose whatever language they have and will no longer be able to control their bowel or bladder. They may begin to have seizures and will usually have a low IQ. This is the most dramatic of all the types of autism as the once sunny smiling child will turn sullen, uncommunicative and lose all they have learned.

Asperger’s is the mildest form of autism.  Although this follows all the other symptoms of autism they are in a milder form. Some people say that Asperger’s is autism at a higher functioning level.  The child still has impairments, their communication skills often come with difficulty and they are still very awkward in social situations. They usually have a very narrow field of interest and have been compared to “little professors” as children.  Although many of their interests are common among children those with Asperger’s will obsess on that which interests them.

Kanner’s autism, commonly referred to as autism disorder, is the most common form of autism. It is believed to affect one child in one hundred and sixty six. This has the three major areas of symptoms; difficulties with social interactions, difficulties with imaginative play and repetitive behavior and difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication.  

The final form of autism is Pervasive Developmental Disorder not Otherwise Specified. This is exactly what it sounds like.  It is the name used for people who have many of the symptoms of autism but not enough of one kind to be labeled with it and so they are put in this general category. The person may have most of the symptoms, a very few or almost none. It is not a diagnosis of a disorder but merely a term to cover off the symptoms of an unknown neurodevelopmental disorder.


Source by Robert Boyd

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Georgie B aka Autism Club Mum is designer,listener and most importantly mummy to 2 beautiful cheeky teen boys with Autism. I want to help make life a little more easier for all of us, whether it be in sharing information, passing on what I have learned including mistakes made, laughing about everything else or just free goodies - we all love them right? God knows its not going to be an easy road ahead so don't do it alone, join us!