Learning the Levels of Autism

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Autism spectrum disorder is somewhat complex. There is not one universal profile that applies to everyone with autism. The disorder looks different on an individual basis. While there are stereotypes and common assumptions, it is important that you educate yourself on the full realm of the disorder. There are different levels of autism. Each level requires a unique type of attention and understanding. Before you can truly help someone with autism, you should educate yourself on their specific challenges.

The 1, 2, 3

With a correct autism diagnosis will include the levels of severity that can help doctors and other specialists work with the individual to provide the right treatment and support. The following levels are how professionals work to establish an appropriate care plan for individuals with autism:


  • Support Required. Level one is the least severe level of autism. Individuals who are diagnosed with level one need support as they may struggle with social difficulties. Other challenges for individuals in this category include:


  • Trouble initiating conversation
  • Losing interest quickly
  • Transitioning to a new topic
  • Inflexible behaviors
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Trouble organizing or planning
  • Difficulty getting acclimated to a new environment


  • Substantial Support. Level two is severe than level one. Individuals have more severe social deficits that make holding a conversation very challenging. Even with support, coherently communicating can be extremely difficult. Individuals are more likely to respond inappropriately and speak in very short sentences or phrases. Individuals with level two autism also struggle with the following:


  • Issues with nonverbal communication such as facing away from person they are talking to
  • Inflexible behaviors that interfere with their ability to function on a day-to-day basis
  • Unable to cope well with changes in environment or other changes. This can cause them serious distress


  • Very substantial support required. Level three is the most severe level of autism diagnosis. Those with a level three diagnosis have significant impairments in their verbal and nonverbal communication. This level is marked by the following challenges and behaviors:


  • Avoiding interactions with others
  • Acting in a limited way when they have to interact with others
  • Highly inflexible and competitive
  • Reacts strongly to changes
  • Becomes highly distressed in situations where they are required to focus or alter their tasks

New Focus Academy can help

New Focus Academy is a residential treatment center for boys ages 12-18 who struggle with autism spectrum disorder or other neurodevelopmental disorders. The program utilizes positive reinforcement to increase the student’s self-esteem and independence. The skills they learn at New Focus will help them learn to have positive social interaction, organization, and improve their self-management skills. Students are given the opportunity to gain the confidence they need to foster and maintain healthy relationships and lifestyle habits. We can help your family today!

Contact us at (844) 313-6749

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