This is a neurological disorder (Autism Spectrum Disorder) that usually affects children and it impacts their overall social behaviour. It is also considered a developmental disorder that can continue to affect the person for the entire life. This condition includes a group of disorders and hence it gets the name spectrum disorder. The symptoms of this condition vary a lot depending on various factors. The condition usually does not improve and providing treatment can help to adjust with the symptoms in the long run. There is no specific way to prevent this condition and you need to depend on communication therapy and other behavioural therapy to ease the symptoms of this condition. Apart from that, using some medication can also control a few symptoms on a temporary basis.
Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder:
– Most children develop this condition in the early stages of infancy and the proper symptoms begin to appear by the second year. The severity of the condition varies a lot between different individuals as this is more of a behavioural issue that is triggered due to neurological problems in the brain.
– Some children may not be able to learn as quickly as their group and they may need special training to cope up with the other members of the school. On the other hand, some children do not face any issues in this regard and they can be on par or display better levels of intelligence when compared to normal kids at school.
– The most important thing you need to understand about this condition is that it is better to handle the situation at a later stage when treatment is started at early stages. For this reason, you should have a clear understanding of the symptoms and ensure that you approach your doctor at this stage.
– If your child is not responding properly when called out by name even after two years, you need to be worried as most children develop this thing by the age of two.
– Some of the symptoms of this condition also include lack of proper facial expressions and this can be seen even in early infancy stages when the kid does not smile or laugh like normal kids. This should give you some warning signs and you must approach a doctor for proper diagnosis.
– In some cases, children may lose their speech abilities even after having acquired them previously and this should be a clear symptom of autism.
– It is normal to see kids repeating words or phrases on a regular basis as they are not able to complete the sentences in a normal manner. This can affect their communication skills in the future and you must take proper speech therapy to resolve the symptoms.
– There will be a significant change in their overall social behaviour and this will be very evident when they are exposed to a social gathering. Even in their everyday life, they may prefer to stay alone and not mingle easily with other people in the family and neighbourhood.
– It is also difficult for kids suffering from this condition to express their feelings and they appear disinterested in many things around them. This should clearly indicate that something is not right with their behaviour and you need to visit your doctor for a professional diagnosis.
Causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder:
As the disorder is very complex in the sense that it displays different symptoms in different patients, a single cause for this condition cannot be determined. It is generally understood that genetics plays some role in children getting this condition. Some of the genetic mutations can be inherited from parents and it is also possible to get them at a later stage due to unknown reasons. Apart from that, other factors like viral infections or side effects of some medication during pregnancy can lead to this condition in a few cases.
Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder:
– There is no specific method to diagnose the problem and doctors will conduct several tests to determine this condition. When you first visit your doctor after noticing some symptoms in your kid, you should try to reveal as much information as possible about the specific behaviour pattern of the child. This will help the doctors to further go deep into the problem and it can be easily identified in the early stages.
– In the first stage, the ability to clearly speak and communicate is ascertained and your child will be given suitable tests in this regard. Everything will be done in a casual manner and the child will be made very comfortable during the diagnostic process. This can give the doctors some idea about the behavioural and social problems caused due to this condition.
– The overall language skills of the child will be observed and if it is too low for its age, it may lead to some suspicion of this condition. You should also try to monitor your child’s way of interacting with other people at home and analyze any drastic changes in behaviour over a period of time.
– If you have a family history of such conditions, it becomes important to reveal them to the doctors so that they can perform some genetic testing on the children and get to know more insights about the condition.
– Your doctor may even recommend you to visit other specialists or work with them together to determine the condition in your child.
Prevention of Autism Spectrum Disorder:
It is not possible to prevent this condition in any manner. However, you can detect the symptoms early and begin early treatment to get effective results in the long run. Remember that when children are able to learn the core skills required for their everyday living in the early stages, they will cope better in future and they will not have too many problems in handling the condition. For this reason, you should be watchful about the overall mental development of your child and consult your doctor whenever you notice any abnormal behavioural changes in them.
Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder:
– This is not a simple task and there is no cure for this condition. However, it is possible to learn skills that will help patients to cope with the condition in future. In this regard, professional treatment will focus on providing relief from the symptoms that cause aggressive behaviour and it will help them to adjust to the social norms.
– When you provide behavioural therapy to your children in the early stages, it will develop their communication and language skills and they will be in a better position to interact with other people in a friendly manner. You should discuss the everyday behaviour of your child with the doctor and get specific instructions on how you should react for any particular situation so that your child will learn to cope with the condition.
– This condition need not affect the regular education of your child and you can choose specially designed programs that will give effective results for kids suffering from autism. There are many special schools dedicated to such kids and you can approach them and get a suitable education for your child. This will keep them engaged and they will be able to move ahead in life with a lot of confidence in the future. When therapy is combined with specially designed educational programs, it is known to give very good results in the long run.
– The important thing you need to understand with regards to providing treatment is that it depends solely on the individual needs of your child and the way your child reacts to specific everyday situations. You should also make it a point to use family members as part of the therapy program and help your child to interact with everyone in a calm manner. When you begin to teach them everyday skills in a friendly manner, they will respond better to the instructions and this can give long-lasting results.
– If your child is suffering from movement related issues due to the condition, choosing certain physical therapies can give good results. This will give strength to the affected region and your child will slowly develop the habit of doing repetitive tasks with better efficiency. In the same manner, when your child is affected with speech related issues, you need to provide speech therapy and this can develop the communication skills of your child by a huge margin.
– Depending on the need of the situation, your doctor may suggest using some medication to treat some symptoms that are affecting the everyday life of the patient. In some extreme cases, such behavioural problems can lead to anxiety or depression. In this situation, you can get some relief by using medication for those specific symptoms. However, you need to be aware of the side effects of using such medication for a long duration and choose them carefully after consulting your doctor.
Complications of Autism Spectrum Disorder:
– The biggest complication that arises out of this condition is that other people in the surrounding may not be able to understand the behaviour of the affected person. This can lead to conflicts, especially at school or the workplace.
– When children are affected by this condition, they may not be able to express themselves properly and this will lead to difficulties in learning and interact with friends. It is often noticed that their learning skills get affected due to the complications arising out of this condition.
– As the condition continues to affect throughout life, people will have problems in the workplace and they may get into unnecessary conflicts with their erratic behaviour.
– In extreme cases, this can push them into isolated living wherein they cannot adjust with their family members or friends. This can further lead to conditions of depression or other disorders in the future.
– Some people will need the assistance of family members to cope with everyday situations and this makes it difficult for them to lead an independent life.
Myth #1: Patients do not feel emotions : This is a huge misconception that people have about autism patients. The reason for this myth is that these people suffering from autism are not able to express their feelings in a normal way and this gives the impression that they do not feel emotions. They do feel emotions just like every one of us and the only difference is that they are not able to express them due to lack of proper communication skills and behavioural skills.
Myth #2: Autism patients have low IQ : There is no connection between having this connection and the overall intelligence levels of children. In fact, it is well known that people suffering from autism can have very good IQ levels that are even more than normal people in many cases.
Myth #3: Autism goes away as children age : Sadly, this is a lifelong condition and you can, however, try to reduce the intensity of the symptoms by choosing different therapies. If you are planning to use medication to control some of the symptoms of this condition, make sure that you know the side effects and handle them carefully by following the instructions of your doctor.
As you can clearly see, each person suffering from autism can display a different set of symptoms depending on various conditions. For this reason, the treatment for this condition is not the same for every patient and it has to be customized based on the overall behaviour and age of the patient. When you are dealing with children suffering from this condition, make sure that you instil confidence in them and explain to them about the condition in a scientific manner. You need to make them realize that this condition in no way comes in the way of their overall success in life and they can easily attain a good education and even work on various jobs without any problems in future. Be polite while dealing with them on a personal level and make them feel that their emotions are understood by other people in the family and friends group. This will help them to cope with the situation in a better way and they can even show some improvement in the long run.