Autism, is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates socially, and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. The exact cause of autism is still being investigated. However, research suggests that a combination of factors – genetic and environmental – may account for the disorder.
HOW IS AUTISM DIAGNOSED?
When a developmental delay is recognized in a child, further testing can help a doctor ﬁnd out whether the problem is related to autism, or a condition with similar symptoms, such as language delays or avoidant personality disorder. If your primary care provider does not have speciﬁc training or experience in developmental problems, he or she may refer your child to a specialist- such as a developmental paediatrician, a psychiatrist, a speech therapist, a psychologist, or a child psychiatrist-for the additional testing.
HOW IS AUTISM TREATED?
The main intention of treating autism is to bring down the associated deficits and family distress, and increase quality of life. There is no single treatment, but a combination of various therapies are there to treat autism. Educational interventions, medication and alternative medicine are some of the treatment options.
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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