What Is Autism?
Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex disease that involves communication and behavior problems. A wide variety of signs and abilities may be involved. ASD may be a minor concern or a condition in a special facility that includes full-time treatment. People with autism have communication problems. They have difficulty knowing what other individuals think and feel. This makes it difficult for them either through words or by movements, facial expressions and touch, to express themselves.
People with autism may have learning difficulties. Their abilities may grow unevenly. They may have difficulty talking, for instance, but they may be unusually good at art, music, math, or memory. Because of this they might perform particularly well on analytical or problem-solving exams. More kids today than ever before are diagnosed with autism. Yet because of improvements in how it is diagnosed, the new figures may be higher, not because more kids have a disease.
Autism Signs and Symptoms
Autism signs typically appear before a child reaches 3. Some individuals show signs from birth.
Popular autistic symptoms include:
- Firstly, socialization is demanding. Such children are unable to use non-verbal actions to communicate socially, such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expressions, body postures and movements. They cannot build relationships with other kids their age. So, they are not good at feelings that reciprocate. They also do not seek to share with others happiness or interests. Even towards parents, they cannot display affectionate behaviour.
- Secondly, they do not improve their communication skills well. They can demonstrate either delay or complete lack of development of speech. They will not be able to maintain a conversation even with a practiced voice. Their language, with repeated words and syllables, may be strange.
- Thirdly, they may have habits, preferences and behaviours of minimal and repetitive behaviour. They can be inflexible in their routine and hate any modification thereof very much.
Some routines are followed like rituals and if not done in an exact way, cause the child great distress.
Sections of artifacts, such as wheels, can be pre-occupied. Some kids can also demonstrate unusual repetitive mannerisms, such as hand flapping, finger flapping, twisting, etc.
- A lack of contact between the eyes
- A limited range of interests in such subjects or an overwhelming interest
- Doing something over and over again, like repeating phrases or sentences, rocking back and forth or flipping a lever
- Strong sensitivity to noises, touches, smells, or visions that seem natural to other individuals
- Not looking at other persons or listening to them
- When another person points at them not looking at things
- Not needing to be cuddled or held
- Problems understanding speech, movements, facial expressions, or tone of voice, or using them
- Talking in a robotic, flat, or sing-song voice
- Trouble with adapting to routine changes
- Often some kids with autism can have seizures. Until puberty, these could not start.
Causes of Autism
It isn’t clear precisely why autism occurs. It could stem from issues that perceive sensory feedback and process language in parts of your brain. In boys, autism is four times more frequent than in girls. This may occur in individuals of any race, ethnicity, or social background. A child’s risk of autism is not affected by family income, lifestyle, or level of education.
Autism runs in families, so the likelihood of a child may be raised by certain combinations of genes. There is a greater risk of autism in a child with an older parent. Autistic children are more likely to have pregnant mothers who are exposed to such substances or chemicals, such as alcohol or anti-seizure medications. Maternal metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity are other risk factors. Research has also related autism to untreated phenylketonuria and rubella (German measles) (also called PKU, a metabolic disorder caused by the absence of an enzyme).
No proof exists that vaccines cause autism.
Screening and Diagnosing Autism
Having a definitive diagnosis of autism can be difficult. Your doctor is going to concentrate on behavior and growth. Diagnosis typically takes two measures for infants. A developmental screening will tell your doctor whether your child is on track with fundamental abilities such as listening, communicating, actions, and moving. Experts recommend that at their daily checkups at 9 months, 18 months, and 24 or 30 months of age, children are tested for these developmental delays. At their 18-month and 24-month checkups, children are regularly screened specifically for autism.
If your child on these screenings shows signs of a problem, they may require a more complete assessment. This could include examinations or genetic tests for hearing and vision. Your doctor may want to bring in someone like a developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist who specializes in autism disorders. Speak to your doctor if you were not diagnosed with autism as a child but find yourself exhibiting signs or symptoms.
Autism has no remedy. But for a child with autism, early autism treatment can make a major difference in growth. Tell your doctor for autism treatment as soon as possible if you believe your child has ASD symptoms.
For one person, what works cannot work for another. Your doctor should tailor your or your child’s care. The two major forms of interventions are:
- In order to assist with structure and organization, behavioral and communication counseling. One of these therapies is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA); it encourages constructive behavior and discourages negative behavior. Occupational counseling may assist with life skills such as dressing, sleeping, and individual relationships. Sensory integration therapy can assist someone who has issues with touching or sights or sounds. Speech therapy strengthens expressive capacity.
Medications to assist with ASD symptoms, such as issues with concentration, hyperactivity, or anxiety.
Before trying something new, like a special diet, talk to your doctor.
- If your child on these screenings shows signs of a problem, they may require a more complete assessment. This could include examinations or genetic tests for hearing and vision. Your doctor may want to bring in someone like a developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist who specializes in autism disorders and autism treatment. Speak to your doctor if you were not diagnosed with autism as a child but find yourself exhibiting signs or symptoms.
How is Autism identifiable?
In infancy itself or even early childhood, certain symptoms can be spotted. However, by the time the child is around 3 years old, parents may also note the above symptoms. The condition is more of a continuum, and with different severity levels, the above symptoms can be seen. In the other two regions, some kids may have strong language development and are deficient. As a co-morbidity, some children may even have Intellectual Disability. Children can also have behavioral disturbances in the form of temper tantrums, outbursts of frustration, or other stubborn behavioral displays. In a selective field of intelligence, such as math or music, some children can display a “genius level of intellect. These are like knowledge “islands” but are very uncommon.
Autism Treatment / Therapy At Bhumika Psychology Centre, Navi Mumbai:
Like any other disease, our child psychologist in Navi Mumbai would take a comprehensive history that is bright from conception to parents’ current growth. It is important to have a mental state test. Often, it might be appropriate to interview other caregivers, including grandparents. After being diagnosed, the recommended medication is usually symptomatic. For behavioral problems, treatment is recommended. Behavioral therapies are used for academic and intellectual challenges. Sometimes, parents are frustrated and often need therapy. Psycho-education of parents is done so as to help them cope properly with the special needs of their children.
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