Autism

Description

Autism also called autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complicated condition that includes problems with communication and behavior. It can involve a wide range of symptoms and skills. These symptoms of autism are generally first seen in early childhood usually in first 2 years of life. They are also more prevalent in Boys than Girls. ASDs can impact a person’s functioning at different levels ranging from very mildly to severely. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. There are organizations aimed at providing financial assistance and help in educating children with autism.

Autism can become evident as early as 18 months of age, which means that parents need to be on the lookout for any warning signs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that increased risk is not the same as cause. For example, some gene changes associated with autism can also be found in people who don’t have the disorder. These symptoms of autism are generally first seen in early childhood usually in first 2 years of life. A person with ASD may look similar to a normal person but can be differentiated in the way he behaves or communicates with other people. People with autism have trouble with communication. Autistic usually have unusual behavior such as repetitive movement and fascination with narrow subjects. Nevertheless, there are several benefits of autism as discussed below.

They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language, difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning, narrow, intense interests, poor motor skills and sensory sensitivities. Autism is also defined as a neurobehavioral condition, meaning that it is a behavioral disorder caused by the brain’s inability to process emotions and understanding. Individuals suffering from autism display a variety of symptoms and behaviors.

Causes for Autism:

  • It is very difficult to know precisely the exact cause of ASDs. After various researches, it is found out that there is not any single cause of autism.
  • Individuals with autism rarely judge other people based on who is smarter, richer or fatter. In fact, these distinctions do not have any importance for autistic people than for other people.
  • It is sometimes seen as hereditary. The persons having brother, sister or any other family members with an ASD are on a higher risk of getting it.
  • This is yet a topic of study and scientists are finding out more environmental factors that may result in the variation of genes.
  • There are some studies that suggest that this condition may be caused by genetic factors. But this has not been fully confirmed.
  • Individuals with autism are generally much more in touch with the details. They actually have a better memory as compared to their normal peers with regards to all types of important details.
  • The scientists in various researches revealed that biological, environmental and neurological differences in the brain linked to particular mutation in genes may be the real culprit behind this disease.
  • They worry less concerning hairstyles, brand names as well as other expensive and unimportant externals that most people worry about.
  • It has been proved under few studies that certain pregnancy conditions may make a cause for ASD. Some prescription drugs taken during pregnancy are linked to having higher risk of ASD.
  • Autistic people are not restricted to any social expectations that they have to meet. Such expectations are normally irrelevant when it comes to autistic people.
  • Prenatal factors like taking antidepressants, not taking adequate folic acid, exposure to chemical pollutants like heavy metals and pesticides during pregnancy may contribute to ASD.
  • Maternal infections during pregnancy or at the time of delivery and other complications during or after delivery like low birth weight child or neonatal anemia may also cause the risk for ASD.
  • In yet another study, it is observed that the people having identifiable medical conditions like genetic disorder, tuberous sclerosis, or symptoms of Down syndrome or any other chromosomal deformity tend to at a higher risk of having an ASD.

Symptoms of Autism

     They have a mixture of symptoms as some have high levels of intelligence but feels trouble while communicating and some have lower levels of intelligence with a bit more capability of verbal communication.

  • Children who do not respond when called by their names.
  • Sensory difficulties with environmental light, sounds, voices, touch or other social stimuli.
  • Lack of interest in activities that normal children are interested in, such as playing with other children, befriending other kids.
  • Behavior and emotional regulation.
  • Avoiding eye contact while talking with parents or strangers.
  • Social communication and language cognitive skills.
  • Delay in developing normal speech.
  • Speaking in a monotonous or robotic tone.
  • Children who don’t talk very often and prefer being alone.
  • Repeating a behavior regularly, like a certain motion of hands or rocking the body.
  • Cannot understand and respond to slightly complex question or instructions.
  • Getting irritated over minor things.
  • Infants, who don’t show expressions and gestures, do not make sounds and speak in baby-language by 24 months of age.

Diagnosis:

The diagnosis of ASD is very difficult as there are no medical tests to diagnose it. Doctors diagnose the condition by observing a person and their symptoms. Most of the times, pediatrician play an important role in diagnosing this condition as the symptoms of autism begin from infancy. Children are usually taken for regular consultation from a very small age. Some children with epilepsy develop a sudden loss of language skills especially receptive language. The child does not show interest in playing games by 18 months. The child does not point at any object out of curiosity by 14 months.

Treatment:

The type of treatment your child receives for autism spectrum disorder depends on his individual needs. They can include different kinds of therapies to improve speech and behavior and sometimes medications to help manage any medical conditions related to autism.

  • Behavior and Communication Treatments
  • Verbal behavior intervention (VBI) focuses on language skills.

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