Autism is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism symptoms range from mild to severe. Symptoms of autism, including learning disabilities, appear before age three. Although children who are diagnosed with autism may experience their symptoms for many years, some people do not develop symptoms until adulthood.
What is Autism?
ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is a developmental disability caused by brain differences. ASD patients may have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are unknown. Scientists believe that there are multiple causes of ASD that interact to alter the most common ways people develop.
ASD appears before the age of three and can last for the rest of a person’s life, though symptoms may improve over time. Some children exhibit ASD symptoms within the first year of life. In others, symptoms may not appear until the child is 24 months old or later. Some children with ASD learn new skills and meet developmental milestones until they are 18 to 24 months old, at which point they stop learning new skills or lose those they already have.
Social Communication and Interaction Skills
- Avoids or does not maintain eye contact
- By 9 months of age, he does not respond to his name.
- By 9 months of age, does not exhibit facial expressions such as happiness, sadness, anger, or surprise.
- Does not play simple interactive games such as pat-a-cake by the age of 12 months.
- By 12 months of age, he or she uses few or no gestures (for example, does not wave goodbye)
- By 15 months of age, does not share interests with others (for example, shows you an object that they like)
- By the age of 18 months, there is no point in showing you something interesting.
- By the age of 24 months, does not notice when others are hurt or upset.
- By 36 months of age, he has not noticed other children and has not joined them in play.
Restricted or Repetitive Behaviors or Interests
- Lines up toys or other objects and becomes agitated when the order is altered
- Repeats words or phrases repeatedly (called echolalia)
- Plays with toys in the same manner each time
- Is concentrated on object parts (for example, wheels)
- Minor changes irritate.
- Has obsessive hobbies
- Certain routines must be followed.
- flapping hands, rocking body, or spinning in circles
- Has strange reactions to how things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel.
- Language skills lag
- Movement skills that are delayed
- Cognitive or learning skills that are delayed
- Behavior that is hyperactive, impulsive, and/or inattentive
- Seizure disorder or epilepsy
- Unusual sleeping and eating habits
- gastrointestinal problems (for example, constipation)
- Unusual emotional or mood swings
- Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry Absence or increased fear
Diagnosis of Autism
ASD is difficult to diagnose because there is no medical test, such as a blood test, to do so. To make a diagnosis, doctors examine the child’s behavior and development. ASD can be detected as early as 18 months of age. A diagnosis from an experienced professional can be considered reliable by the age of two. Many children, however, do not receive a final diagnosis until they are much older. Some people do not receive a diagnosis until they are teenagers or adults. Because of this delay, people with ASD may not receive the necessary early intervention.
Treatment of Autism
There are numerous treatment options available. Although some treatments involve more than one approach, these treatments can generally be divided into the following categories:
- Behavioral Developmental
- Complementary and Alternative
Treatments can be given in a variety of settings, including education, health, community, and home settings, as well as a combination of these. It is critical that providers communicate with one another, as well as with the person with ASD and their families, to ensure that treatment goals and progress are met. Source
A Parent’s Guide to Autism Treatment
The best thing you can do as a parent of a child with ASD or related developmental delays is to begin treatment as soon as possible. Seek assistance as soon as you suspect something is wrong. Don’t wait for your child to catch up or outgrow the problem. Don’t even bother waiting for a formal diagnosis. The earlier children with autism spectrum disorder receive treatment, the better their chances of success. Early intervention is the most effective way to accelerate your child’s development and reduce autism symptoms over time.
Become an Expert on your Child
Determine what causes your child’s challenging or disruptive behaviour and what produces a positive response.
You’ll be better at troubleshooting problems and preventing or modifying situations that cause problems if you understand what affects your child.
Accept Your Child, Quirks and All.
Instead of focusing on how your autistic child differs from other children and what he or she “lacks,” practise acceptance. Enjoy your child’s unique characteristics, celebrate small victories, and stop comparing your child to others.
Provide Structure and Safety
- The best way to reinforce learning is to create consistency in your child’s environment. Discover what your child’s therapists are doing and replicate their methods at home.
- Set aside regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime for your child. Keep interruptions to this routine to a minimum.
- Praise them when they behave appropriately or learn a new skill, and be specific about what behaviour you’re praising them for.
- Make a private area in your home for your child to relax, feel safe, and be safe. This will entail organising and establishing boundaries in ways that your child can understand.
Find Nonverbal Ways to Connect
- Take note of the sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when they are tired, hungry, or in need of something.
- Determine the reason for the tantrum. It’s natural to be upset when you’re misunderstood or ignored, and children with ASD are no exception.
- Playtime should be scheduled when your child is most alert and awake. Find ways to have fun together by thinking about what makes your child smile, laugh, and come out of his or her shell.
Create a Personalized Autism Treatment Plan
Your child’s treatment should be tailored to their specific needs. You know your child best, so it is up to you to ensure that their needs are met. Source