Although people may tend to assume Autism and Down’s syndrome are in the same category, the two disorders are distinct. They share few similarities responsible for causing confusion among the masses who are not experts in their diagnosis. Examples of these similarities include patients exhibit learning difficulties, behavioral problems, dysfunctional social lives, and inappropriate crying and laughing spells. It should be noted that Autism is a neurological related disorder, whereas Down’s Syndrome is more of a chromosomal syndrome that starts right before birth. The ensuing paragraphs will explain in detail differences between the two conditions to help shed more light on their characteristics and causes.
The appropriate clinical term for Autism is ADS, which stands for ‘autism spectrum disorder.’ This term implies the condition has a wide range of symptoms, impairment levels, and skills as exhibited by patients suffering from it, some of whom may have mild impairment, while others may be severely disabled. For this reason, there are no unique diagnostic criteria for Autism. Furthermore, Autistic characteristics become apparent mostly when a child attains around three years. Autism is a neurological condition that alters how nerve cells and synapses coordinate. There lacks a clear scientific explanation of how this phenomenon occurs, but studies are being conducted presently to determine if the condition has a strong genetic basis, or it is a result of rare mutations.
On the other hand, Down’s Syndrome has been proven to be a genetic disorder arising because of the presence of an extra pair of the 21st Chromosome. Scientists believe this extra pair of the 21st chromosome causes delayed physical growth, abnormal facial features, and intellectual disability among patients suffering from the Down’s Syndrome condition. Studies indicate the average Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of an adult having Down’s Syndrome stands at 50, which is the equivalent of the mental age of a third grade pupil. Notably, persons with the condition display unique developmental profile characterized with strengths in memory and visual learning, but difficulties with language, speech, and motor processes.
Concisely, there is a distinction between Autism and Down’s Syndrome. The former condition is a neurological disorder, while the latter is the outcome of a chromosomal related complication. However, the two disorders can manifest in the same person. In this case, Dual-diagnosis is the term used for those suffering from Autism and Down’s Syndrome at the same time.