There’s a lot of information out there, but a few good sources are all you need to start learning about your diagnosis. It could stem from problems in parts of your brain that interpret sensory input and process language. People with autism may stim for fun, to ease boredom, or to cope with stress or anxiety. For example, they may twirl a string so they can watch it or focus on one sound so they can tune out another loud or stressful noise. For example, they could have trouble communicating but be unusually good at art, music, math, or things that involve memory.
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When in doubt, it’s always best to talk with a healthcare professional. “Stimming” is a term used to describe self-stimulating behaviors, often involving repetitive motions or speech.
In 2007, Autism Speaks completed its merger with Cure Autism Now . CAN was founded in 1995 by Jonathan Shestack and Portia Iversen.
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‘Autism’ appropriated new meanings and this meant that it came to be more easily diagnosed in children who previously would not have been considered to display that particular thought abnormality. Even infants younger than a year can display indicators of autism spectrum disorders . These signs are sometimes difficult to distinguish, and parents might confuse them with hearing problems. Some babies might actually have hearing loss or may simply be late bloomers.
But I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to give the doctor an accurate picture of myself if I did so. When it was time to start my testing, I was surprised to find that the doctor was caring and supportive. Her demeanor helped me relax, which was important for the testing experience. In retrospect, I realize that I would have masked the entire time if she hadn’t put me into a safe mental space. As part of the diagnostic process, I had to bring an adult who knew me as a child and could witness my behavior both as a child and as an adult. I’m lucky I have an aunt who lives near me and agrees to do this work. An adult diagnosis can positively change a person’s sense of self.
Read more about Music Therapy for Autism here.
For a long time, however, only people with very severe symptoms were diagnosed with autism. Starting in the 1990s, milder forms were recognized, including Asperger’s syndrome (now called high-functioning autism).