As I have illustrated, Joe seems to fit the criteria for many other 'conditions' though I prefer to think of Joe as having an autistic spectrum 'difference' with a predominant label of AD/HD - Joe is simply (well maybe it's not so simple!) Joe. I have written briefly how added extras such as dyspraxia, dyslexia and sensory issues affect us as a household, just as I have written about autism, AD/HD and Asperger Syndrome in later chapters. Other colours of the autistic spectrum and labels which our children often acquire, either separately or along with autism, are listed below:
• Dyscalculia - refers specifically to the inability to perform operations in maths or arithmetic and is a visual perceptual deficit.
• Conduct disorder - characterized by a repetitive and persistent pattern of dissocial, aggressive, or defiant conduct.
• Semantic Pragmatic Disorder - difficulties with semantics (comprehending written and spoken language) and pragmatics (difficulties using language as a means of interaction).
• DAMP - a cocktail of hyperactivity, attention deficit and developmental coordination disorder.
• Obsessive compulsive disorder - an anxiety disorder whereby the individual becomes trapped in a pattern of distressing and repetitive thoughts and behaviours.
• Oppositional Defiance Disorder - persistent disobedience and opposition to authority figures. Usually strongest defiance is experienced in the home.
• Tourette's Syndrome and Tic disorder - neurological disorders characterized by tics - involuntary, rapid, sudden movements that occur repeatedly in the same way.
• Pathological Demand Avoidance Disorder - a pervasive developmental disorder whereby individuals are typically socially manipulative with people.
Whilst countries and counties, professionals and authorities may all ultimately come up with a different label for each child, as I have said, I am firmly convinced that this merely depends on the professional's main specialism or the setting in which the child is observed and, even though some people may fit the criteria for one condition perfectly, others may have a subtle blend of many. The secret is for all to accept the child for who and what they are, and seek to find appropriate intervention rather than trying to fit them neatly into categories.
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Whenever a doctor informs the parents that their child is suffering with Autism, the first & foremost question that is thrown over him is - How did it happen? How did my child get this disease? Well, there is no definite answer to what are the exact causes of Autism.