Am I on the Spectrum? 10 Signs You Can Identify in Yourself

Am I on the spectrum

How do I know if I am on the spectrum?

In today’s world, we’re fortunate to have a wealth of information about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at our fingertips. This progress has made it possible for us to identify unique behaviors and specific ways of thinking that may be associated with ASD. As we learn more about these traits, we might begin to see patterns in our behavior that lead us to wonder, “Am I on the spectrum?”

However, it’s important to note that diagnosing autism is not as simple as taking a test or filling out a form; it requires guidance and professional diagnosis. Nonetheless, some signs are part of the official criteria according to the DSM-5 for detecting autism, shedding light on behaviors that may seem different to us or others.

That’s why, in this blog by ABA Centers of Virginia, we aim to address this common question: How do I know if I am on the spectrum? We’ll share information about the common autism signs and provide insights into ABA therapy, which is employed to manage the more challenging behaviors associated with the autism spectrum.

Overview of Autism

Before we delve into the most common signs exhibited by individuals on the spectrum, let’s explore essential information to enhance your understanding of this condition:

  • Autism is a spectrum, as individuals with ASD display a wide range of abilities and challenges, and no two people with autism are alike.
  • Experts suggest that both genetics and environmental factors play a significant role in developing autism.
  • Individuals can be diagnosed with ASD from 18 months to adulthood.
  • Individuals with autism may experience difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication. Some may have advanced skills in certain areas, while others may face significant challenges in expressing themselves.
  • The severity of autism comprises three levels: Level 1 – mild autism, Level 2 – moderate autism, and Level 3 – severe autism.
  • According to the CDC, in the United States, it has been identified that 1 in every 36 individuals has autism.
  • Virginia state has an estimated prevalence of 2.41 (155,557) cases among adults aged 18-84 years.

Am I on the Spectrum? Identifying 10 Common Signs

If you’re wondering whether you have ASD, it’s important to highlight some common signs that individuals on the spectrum often experience, identified by the American Psychiatric Association as characteristic behaviors. These ten common autism signs might resonate with you:

  1. You feel discomfort or difficulty making direct eye contact or engaging in face-to-face conversations.
  2. You tend to engage in specific activities, and you may have intense and focused interests in particular subjects.
  3. You engage in repetitive behaviors, such as constant rocking or twisting of objects.
  4. You experience extreme sensitivities to sensory stimuli such as bright lights, loud sounds, or specific textures.
  5. You face challenges in understanding social cues, such as facial expressions or tone of voice, and may take things literally without grasping sarcasm.
  6. You prefer structure and dislike sudden changes to your routine or environment.
  7. Establishing and maintaining social relationships might be challenging for you, and at times, you may prefer solitude.
  8. You have difficulty expressing emotions or understanding the feelings of others.
  9. You find it challenging to transition between tasks or activities, often requiring additional support or preparation for changes.
  10. You have selective eating habits, being a picky eater with a preference for specific textures, flavors, or food.

These are just examples and do not constitute a diagnosis. If you recognize these patterns in your life and are concerned, it would be advisable to seek the assessment of a specialized healthcare professional for an official diagnosis.

Assessment for Autism Diagnosis

After identifying critical signs, it is advisable to seek an official autism diagnosis. To do so, healthcare professionals use instruments designed to gather information about a person’s behavior, skills, and characteristics to determine if the person may fall within the autism spectrum.

At ABA Centers of Virginia, we often employ the ADOS-2 test, which is the most widely used tool in the industry for assessing communication, social interaction, and play to aid in the diagnosis.

The ADOS-2 consists of various modules, each designed for different developmental levels and language skills. Evaluators use diverse modules based on the age and developmental level of the individual they are assessing.

Effectiveness of ABA for ASD

Receiving a diagnosis from your healthcare provider can be overwhelming, and it’s okay to feel that way. As you move forward, know that seeking support to manage the characteristics that can make your day-to-day life more challenging due to being on the spectrum is a brave step.

To enhance skills in communication and independence, address challenging and impactful behaviors, and reinforce desired behaviors, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) stands out as the primary approach in the field of behavior.

According to a study by Frontiers in Psychiatry, ABA therapy is an effective method for improving the skill performance of children with ASD. ABA therapy breaks down tasks into manageable parts to teach appropriate behaviors. This approach has led to improvements in cognitive, language, and adaptive behavior skills in children with autism.

ABA Centers of Virginia and Autism Diagnosis

Recognizing that those unique characteristics you possess may have the name autism is not easy to process. However, this acknowledgment marks a crucial step towards self-discovery and seeking the necessary help to live a fuller life.

For those in cities like Arlington, Washington D.C., or other areas of Virginia, we encourage you to reach out to our ABA care specialist at ABA Centers of Virginia, a specialized center providing services that enhance the quality of life for the neurodivergent community.

Call us at (855) 957-1892 or contact us through our online form. Help is just a call away, marking an improvement for a lifetime. We are here to support you on your journey!

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