As you probably already know, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) varies significantly from person to person. As its name suggests, the condition exists on a spectrum, and a person who has ASD may require little to no therapy, moderate therapy, or extensive therapy. To help determine what the best approach is for providing assistance to someone with ASD, an individual with a diagnosis often gets designated with one of three severity levels. These levels offer guidance on the amount of support a person with the condition may require.
Level 1 “Requiring Support”
Individuals who receive a diagnostic designation of Level 1 require a minor to moderate amount of support. For example, these individuals may be conversational but have trouble initiating social interactions or may exhibit unsuccessful responses to social overtures from others. These individuals may also have difficulties with organization or switching between activities to an extent that interferes with their daily functioning.
Level 2 “Requiring Substantial Support”
Individuals designated with a Level 2 severity are considered to need a substantial amount of support. For instance, these individuals might manifest clear restricted or repetitive behaviors, and their social interactions may be highly limited to certain interests or may be marked with deficits in both verbal and nonverbal communication skills. They may have difficulty in adapting to changes in their routine, and they might show obvious distress in response to changes.
Level 3 “Requiring Very Substantial Support”
Individuals who receive a Level 3 severity designation require an intensive level of support. These individuals usually have very limited social and communication skills, and they may be extremely agitated by changes to their schedule or a new environment. These individuals generally require extensive therapy and supervision.