I don't know what the levels of diagnosis mean but I'm curious about level 2.
Level 1 is minimal support needed (old aspergers or high functioning); level 2 is moderate level of supports needed (old moderate) and level 3 is substaintial suports needed (old severe)
Level 1 autism
People with level 1 autism have noticeable issues with communication skills and socializing with others. They can usually have a conversation, but it might be difficult to maintain a back-and-forth banter.
Others at this level might find it hard to reach out and make new friends. According to the DSM-5, people who receive a diagnosis of level 1 autism require support.
decreased interest in social interactions or activities
difficulty initiating social interactions, such as talking to a person
ability to engage with a person but may struggle to maintain a give-and-take of a typical conversation
obvious signs of communication difficulty
trouble adapting to changes in routine or behavior
difficulty planning and organizing
People with level 1 autism often maintain a high quality of life with little support. This support usually comes in the form of behavioral therapy or other types of therapy. Both of these approaches can help improve social and communication skills. Behavioral therapy can also help develop positive behaviors that might not come naturally.
Level 3 autism
This is the most severe level of autism. According to the DSM-5, those at this level require very substantial support. In addition to a more severe lack of communication skills, people with level 3 autism also display repetitive or restrictive behaviors.
Repetitive behaviors refer to doing the same thing over and over, whether it’s a physical action or speaking the same phrase. Restrictive behaviors are those that tend to distance someone from the world around them. This might involve an inability to adapt to change or narrow interests in very specific topics.
highly visible lack of verbal and nonverbal communication skills
very limited desire to engage socially or participate in social interactions
trouble changing behaviors
extreme difficulty coping with unexpected change to routine or environment
great distress or difficulty changing focus or attention
People with level 3 autism often need frequent, intensive therapy that focuses on a variety of issues, including communication and behavior.
They may also benefit from medication. While there’s no medication that treats autism specifically, certain drugs can help manage specific symptoms or co-occurring disorders, such as depression or trouble focusing.
Someone with this level of autism may also need a caregiver who helps them learn basic skills that will allow them to be successful in school, at home, or at work.
Level 2 autism
The DSM-5 notes those with level 2 autism require substantial support. The symptoms associated with this level include a more severe lack of both verbal and nonverbal communication skills. This often makes daily activities difficult.
difficulty coping with change to routine or surroundings
significant lack of verbal and nonverbal communication skills
behavior issues severe enough to be obvious to the casual observer
unusual or reduced response to social cues, communication, or interactions
trouble adapting to change
communication using overly simple sentences
narrow, specific interests
People with level 2 autism generally need more support than those with level 1 autism. Even with support, they may have a hard time adjusting to changes in their environment.
A variety of therapies can help. For example, sensory integration therapy may be used at this level. It helps people learn how to deal with sensory input, such as:
loud or annoying sounds
distracting visual changes
Those with level 2 autism tend to also benefit from occupational therapy. This type of therapy helps people develop the skills they need to complete daily tasks, such as decision-making or job-related skills.
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