Levels that are incorporated in the Autism Spectrum
In my first blog, I discussed what Autism is. When inquiring about what this diagnosis of Autism means in Landon’s life, organizations and medical professionals thought I understood their medical jargon. I really had no clue what they were talking about and telling me in fancy medical terms wasn’t helping either. I wanted clear answers and finding them, over 20 years ago, wasn’t easy. Opening the door to this question involved many years of talking to therapists and finding out the answer.
I also discussed on what the definition of what an Autism Spectrum Disorder was. Opening this first door, I will explore everything that I know of, at the moment, about the levels of the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Keep in mind that I am a parent, not a medical professional. I will occasionally come across a mistake that I have made and will make sure I correct it.
What are the Levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder? From some of the research I found, there are currently 3 levels of Autism. Verywellhealth describes these levels very well.
Level 1: Requiring Support-“maintain a high quality of life with little support.”What this means is a child will have mild impairments that can be taken care of as long as the right interventions are in place. These children are independent, they can go to school, be able to live on their own, drive and even have a career they enjoy. This doesn’t mean there won’t be any challenges along the way. An example of Level 1: A college student that needs a mentor to assist him in the classroom or an adult that requires Augmentative/Alternate Communication such as using a box or sign-language. Here is an example of a student in my Basic Skills classroom. This student is unable to comprehend math or read, but with minor support she is able to live independently in her home. She has a Habilitation Technician drive her to our center, assist her with minor shopping and taking care of her home.
Level 2: Requiring Substantial Support-This means that while a child may have mild impairments they will also have some severe impairments. Landon is a perfect example of a Level 2. While he is extremely smart and capable of doing many things, he needs supervision and reinforcement at home and in the community. Due to his lack of comprehension and safety issues, he is unable to drive, be home alone for extended periods of time, or maintain a job.
Level 3: Requiring Very Substantial Support-This is a child with extreme behavioral issues. Most of these children are non verbal and are unable to live or work independently. They require 24 hour care, may have the inability to sleep, or be able to take care of personal hygiene, and may have self-injurious behavior.