Autism Home > Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Medical Conditions
Often children will have autism spectrum disorders and other medical conditions. Some of these other medical conditions include sensory problems, mental retardation, and seizures. Many children with autism spectrum disorders are highly attuned or even painfully sensitive to certain sounds, textures, tastes, and smells. One to 4 percent of people with autism spectrum disorders also have tuberous sclerosis.
Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Medical Conditions: An OverviewThere are a number of medical conditions that can accompany autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Some of these include:
- Sensory problems
- Mental retardation
- Fragile X syndrome
- Tuberous sclerosis.
Sensory Problems and Autism Spectrum Disorders
When children's perceptions are accurate, they can learn from what they see, feel, or hear. On the other hand, if sensory information is faulty, the child's experiences of the world can be confusing. Many children with autism spectrum disorders are highly attuned or even painfully sensitive to certain sounds, textures, tastes, and smells. Some children find the feel of clothes touching their skin almost unbearable. Some sounds -- a vacuum cleaner, a ringing telephone, a sudden storm, even the sound of waves lapping the shoreline -- will cause these children to cover their ears and scream.
In autism spectrum disorder, the brain seems unable to balance the senses appropriately. Some children with autism spectrum disorders are oblivious to extreme cold or pain. An ASD child may fall and break an arm, yet never cry. Another may bash his head against a wall and not wince, but a light touch may make the child scream with alarm.
Autism Spectrum Disorders and Mental Retardation
Many children with autism spectrum disorders have some degree of mental impairment. When tested, some areas of ability may be normal, while others may be especially weak. For example, a child with autism spectrum disorder may do well on the parts of the test that measure visual skills but earn low scores on the language subtests.