It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. It is characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviour. These deficits are present in early childhood, typically before age three and lead to clinically significant functional impairment. The symptoms observed by parents are: 1. No babbling by 12 months 2. No gesturing by 12 months 3. No single words by 16 months 4. No two word phrases by 24 months 5. Any loss of any language or social skills at any age
HOW IS AUTISM DIAGNOSED?
A diagnosis is the formal identification of autism, usually by a health professional such as a pediatrician or a psychiatrist. A pediatrician commonly performs an investigation by taking details of developmental history along with physical examination. A pediatric neuropsychologist is often asked to assess behavior and cognitive skills, both to aid diagnosis and to help recommend educational interventions. Clinical genetics evaluations are often done once ASD is diagnosed.
HOW IS AUTISM TREATED?
A psychiatrist treats autism primarily with behavioural treatments. Other than this some medications used are psychoactive drugs or anticonvulsants. Alternative therapies and interventions can also be used to treat autism
DID YOU KNOW?
Autism is more prevalent among boys.
What is autism?
Autism is a mental condition. Autism symptoms usually include incapability of social behavior and social interaction. People who have this condition usually engage in repetitive behavior, like piling or stacking objects, constantly repeating an action, etc. The symptoms start to develop as early as two to three years of age.
Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism in which the patients have repetitive behavior and find it very difficult to interact with the society. Some symptoms of asperger's syndrome include:
1. If you or your loved one is having difficulty in social interaction. Clumsiness or inappropriate behavior in public is also a major symptom of asperger's syndrome.
2. While speaking when one uses repetitive speech. It may also sound robotic.
3. Since these patients also have attention deficit disorders so they are more prone in talking about themselves in situations where it is not required.
4. People suffering from asperger's have difficulty in maintaining eye-contact. They will always look away from you while engaging in a conversation.
5. They are often obsessed with unusual things and constantly repeat unusual topics even if the person they are talking to is not interested.
6. People having asperger's syndrome face a huge challenge overcoming facial expression and gestures. Sometimes their behavior and movements are highly awkward.
There are various tests that can diagnose autism such as autism screening. In this procedure, the physician runs some test which judges behavior and psychology. Children who have autism are also likely develop a hearing disorder or an ear infection. Autism spectrum disorder usually affects more boys than girls. One out of every 68 people have autism.
Autism spectrum disorders usually start to develop when a person is still an infant. A child can be detected with asperger's syndrome or autism spectrum disorder when they don't make a cooing sound even after 12 months of age, if he/she cannot say single words even after 12 months, if the child does not make an eye contact and if he/she does not show any facial expressions.
What causes autism?
Researchers are yet to find out the root cause of autism and asperger's syndrome, but it generally occurs if you have a history of medical illness in your family. Studies show that there are certain genetic codes in people with asperger's syndrome which can be transferred from generation to generation.
Autism is not only difficult for the person who is suffering from it, but is also grueling for families of the affected people as well. Autism causes social isolation, depression, anxiety, difficulty making friends and low self esteem. If your loved one is diagnosed with autism, it is important to start aba therapy (applied behavior analysis), which includes interaction of the patient with a behavior analyst. Aba therapy is very effective for people suffering with autism.
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