Low-functioning autism

  (Redirected from Classic autism)

Low-functioning autism (LFA) is autism with an intellectual disability (an IQ of 69 or below). Symptoms may include impaired social communications or interactions, bizarre behavior, and lack of social or emotional reciprocity. Sleep problems, aggressiveness, and self-injurious behavior are also possible frequent occurrences.[10] LFA is not a recognized diagnosis in the DSM-5 or ICD-10.

Low Functioning Autism
SpecialtyPsychiatry
ComplicationsSocial isolation, employment problems, family stress, bullying, self-harm[1]
Usual onsetBy age two or three[2][3]
DurationLong-term
CausesGenetic and environmental factors
Diagnostic methodBased on behavior and developmental history
Differential diagnosisIntellectual Disability, Fragile X, Anxiety
TreatmentBehavioral therapy, speech therapy, psychotropic medication[4][5][6]
MedicationAntipsychotics, antidepressants, stimulants (associated symptoms)[7][8][9]

CharacterizationEdit

People who display symptoms for LFA usually have "impairments in all the three areas of psychopathology: reciprocal social interaction, communication, and restricted, stereotyped, repetitive behaviour".[11]

Severe impairment of social skills can be seen in people with LFA. This could include a lack of eye contact, inadequate body language and a lack of emotional or physical response to others' behaviors and emotions. Due to the lack of these social skills, it may be hard for these patients to form or maintain relationships with others.[12]

Communication impairments shown in people with LFA include lack of communication (both oral communication – i.e. nonverbal autism – and body language), repetitive use of words or phrases, and lack of imaginative play skills.[13] They also may respond only to very direct external social interaction from others. Specific behavioral impairments that may be exhibited by a person with LFA include adherence to nonfunctional rituals or routines, repetitive motor functions such as hand flapping or complex whole body movements, and restrictive or obsessive patterns of interest that are abnormal. Other symptoms may include preoccupation with non-functional elements of play materials such as their odor, feel, or noise they generate.[3]

CausesEdit

The exact causes of autism are unknown, but it is believed that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in its development.[14] Multiple studies have shown different types of structural abnormalities in the brains of people with autism.[15] Experiments have been conducted to determine if the degree of brain abnormality yields any correlation to the severity of autism. One study done by Elia et al. (2000) used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the midsagittal area of the cerebrum, midbrain, cerebellar vermis, corpus callosum, and vermal lobules VI and VII to measure brain abnormalities in children with low-functioning autism. The results suggested that the midbrain structures correlate with certain developmental behavioral aspects such as motivation, mnemonic, and learning processes, but further studies would need to be conducted to confirm this.[16] Furthermore, research has shown that many developmental processes may contribute to several types of brain abnormalities in autism; therefore, determining the link between such abnormalities and severity of autism proves difficult.[17]

DiagnosisEdit

While low-functioning autism has never been an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, it was a classification in the DSM-4 to refer to someone with autism who has an intellectual disability (an IQ of 69 or below). But in the present diagnostic standards in the DSM-5, the classification of LFA has been removed.[18]

The criteria for autism spectrum disorders in the DSM-5 is broken down into three levels of support required, the criteria for level 3 (requiring very substantial support) includes severe deficits in communication skills (verbal and nonverbal), inflexibility of behavior, extreme difficulty coping with change, and extreme difficulty with shifting focus and attention. Individuals with level 3 autism would initiate very limited amounts of social interactions and would respond only to direct social approaches from others.[3]

The ICD-10 criteria for childhood autism postulate that abnormal or impaired development is evident before the age of 3 in receptive or expressive language used in social communication, development of selective social attachments or reciprocal social interactions, or functional or symbolic play. The patients would also be required to exhibit six other symptoms from three macro-categories pertaining to qualitative impairment in social interactions, quantitative abnormalities in communication, and restricted/repetitive/stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. ICD-10 differentiates patients with high functioning and low-functioning autism by diagnosing the additional code of intellectual disability.[19]

TherapyEdit

Augmentative and alternative communicationEdit

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is used for autistic patients who cannot communicate orally. Patients who have problems speaking may be taught to use other forms of communication, such as body language, computers, interactive devices, and pictures.[20] The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a commonly used form of augmentative and alternative communication with children and adults who cannot communicate well orally. Patients are taught how to link pictures and symbols to their feelings, desires and observation, and may be able to link sentences together with the vocabulary that they form.[21]

Speech-language therapyEdit

Speech-language therapy can help those with autism who need to develop or improve communication skills.[11] According to the organization Autism Speaks, “speech-language therapy is designed to coordinate the mechanics of speech with the meaning and social use of speech”.[22] People with low-functioning autism may not be able to communicate with spoken words. Speech-language Pathologists (SLP) may teach someone how to communicate more effectively with others or work on starting to develop speech patterns.[23] The SLP will create a plan that focuses on what the child needs.

Occupational therapyEdit

Occupational therapy helps autistic children and adults learn everyday skills that help them with daily tasks, such as personal hygiene and movement. These skills are then integrated into their home, school, and work environments. Therapists will oftentimes help patients learn to adapt their environment to their skill level.[24] This type of therapy could help autistic people become more engaged in their environment.[25] An occupational therapist will create a plan based on the patient's’ needs and desires and work with them to achieve their set goals.

Sensory integration therapyEdit

Sensory integration therapy helps people with autism adapt to different kinds of sensory stimuli. Many with autism can be oversensitive to certain stimuli, such as lights or sounds, causing them to overreact. Others may not react to certain stimuli, such as someone speaking to them.[26] Many types of therapy activities involve a form of play, such as using swings, toys and trampolines to help engage the patients with sensory stimuli.[27] Therapists will create a plan that focuses on the type of stimulation the person needs integration with.

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA)Edit

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is considered the most effective therapy for Autism spectrum disorders by the American Academy of Pediatrics.[28] ABA focuses on teaching adaptive behaviors like social skills, play skills, or communication skills[29][30] and diminishing problematic behaviors like eloping or self-injury[31] by creating a specialized plan that uses behavioral therapy techniques, such as positive or negative reinforcement, to encourage or discourage certain behaviors over-time.[32]

MedicationEdit

There are no medications specifically designed to treat autism. Medication is usually used for symptoms associated with autism, such as depression, anxiety, or behavioral problems.[33] Medicines are usually used after other alternative forms of treatment have failed.[34]

Criticism of functioning labelsEdit

Many autistic rights activists disagree with the categorisation of individuals into "high-functioning autism" and "low-functioning autism", stating that the "low-functioning" label causes people to put low expectations on a child and view them as lesser. [35] Furthermore, critics of functioning labels state that an individual's functioning can fluctuate from day to day, and categories do not take this into consideration. [36]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "NIMH " Autism Spectrum Disorder". nimh.nih.gov. October 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria". Archived from the original on 2015-12-19. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
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  9. ^ Jaeggi, S. M.; Buschkuehl, M.; Jonides, J.; Perrig, W. J. (2008). "From the Cover: Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105 (19): 6829–33. Bibcode:2008PNAS..105.6829J. doi:10.1073/pnas.0801268105. PMC 2383929. PMID 18443283.
  10. ^ Brambilla, P (2003). "Brain anatomy and development in autism: Review of structural MRI studies". Brain Research Bulletin. 61 (6): 557–569. doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.06.001. PMID 14519452.
  11. ^ a b "What is Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders?". US Autism and Asperger Association. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  12. ^ Brambilla, P (2003). "Brain anatomy and development in autism: Review of structural MRI studies". Brain Research Bulletin. 61 (6): 557–569. doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.06.001. PMID 14519452.
  13. ^ Brambilla, P (2003). "Brain anatomy and development in autism: Review of structural MRI studies". Brain Research Bulletin. 61 (6): 557–569. doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.06.001. PMID 14519452.
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  16. ^ Elia, M; Ferri, R; Musumeci, S; Panerai, S; Bottitta, M; Scuderi, C (2000). "Clinical Correlates of Brain Morphometric Features of Subjects With Low-Functioning Autistic Disorder". Journal of Child Neurology. 15 (8): 504–508. doi:10.1177/088307380001500802. PMID 10961787.
  17. ^ Brambilla, P (2003). "Brain anatomy and development in autism: Review of structural MRI studies". Brain Research Bulletin. 61 (6): 557–569. doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.06.001. PMID 14519452.
  18. ^ "What is Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders?". US Autism and Asperger Association. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  19. ^ Strunecká, A (2011). Cellular and molecular biology of autism spectrum disorders. Bentham e Books. pp. 4–5.
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  22. ^ "What Treatments are Available for Speech, Language and Motor Issues?". Autism Speaks. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  23. ^ for you/parents-and-cares/pc speech and language therapy.aspx "Speech and Language Therapy" Check |url= value (help). Autism Education Trust.
  24. ^ fact sheet.ashx "Occupational Therapy's Role with Autism" Check |url= value (help). American Occupational Therapy Association.
  25. ^ "What Treatments are Available for Speech, Language and Motor Issues?". Autism Speaks. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
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  28. ^ Myers, Scott M.; Johnson, Chris Plauché (1 November 2007). "Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders". Pediatrics. 120 (5): 1162–1182. doi:10.1542/peds.2007-2362. ISSN 0031-4005. PMID 17967921.
  29. ^ "Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA): What is ABA?". Autism partnership.
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  31. ^ Summers, Jane; Sharami, Ali; Cali, Stefanie; D'Mello, Chantelle; Kako, Milena; Palikucin-Reljin, Andjelka; Savage, Melissa; Shaw, Olivia; Lunsky, Yona (November 2017). "Self-Injury in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability: Exploring the Role of Reactivity to Pain and Sensory Input". Brain Sci. 7 (11): 140. doi:10.3390/brainsci7110140. PMC 5704147. PMID 29072583.
  32. ^ "Applied Behavioral Strategies - Getting to Know ABA". Archived from the original on 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  33. ^ National Institute of Mental Health. "Medications for Autism". Psych Central. Archived from the original on 2015-12-13. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  34. ^ Pope, J; Volkmar, F (November 14, 2014). "Medicines for Autism". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  35. ^ "More Problems with Functioning Labels". Ollibean. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  36. ^ "Identity-First Autistic". Identity-First Autistic. Archived from the original on 2017-12-30. Retrieved 2017-12-29.