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Overview

Autism - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Austim?

The different kinds of autism have quite a lot of overlap. In children the variance in symptoms is more pronounced and given rise to the autism spectrum disorder concept or ASD. Boys are more prone to having autism than girls. The numbers of autism detections are on the rise, but might just be due to better detection. An earlier diagnosis is better as it can provide earlier treatment and thus help children having autism do better with social skills and language.

What are the Signs of Autism?

Three separate aspects of the life of a child may be affected by autism spectrum disorders:

  • Social interaction
  • Interests and behavior
  • Nonverbal and verbal communication

Behavior in ASD

The patterns of ASD will be different for each child. The mental development of a child may be slowed from birth. Few children start developing normally and then suddenly start losing language or social skills. Others exhibit normal development till the time they start showing abnormal preoccupations and thoughts. Losing language skills may be majorly impairing for some children. While in others, abnormal behavior shows up as a dominating factor. Parents generally are the first, who observe any wrong behavior. The diagnosis of autism is usually delayed. The early autism signs might be downplayed by the physician or parents, indicating that there is a minor developmental delay. Medical professionals should evaluate children who have possible ASD.

What are the types of Autism?

The three primary autism types are:

  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • PDD NOS (Pervasive development-disorder, not otherwise specified)
  • Autistic Disorder

Two more, rare but still critical ASD like conditions have been included – Childhood-disintegrative disorder and Rett syndrome.

Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s syndrome is the mildest autism type. Boys are affected thrice more than girls are. AS children get obsessed over a single topic or object. They tend to learn everything about their subject of choice and don’t stop discussing it. They however inept at their social skills and they generally are uncoordinated and awkward. Other ASDs are more severe than Asperger’s syndrome. It is also not uncommon for AS children to have higher than normal intelligence. Some doctors, due to this reason term it as ‘High functioning autism’. AS children on growing up, face higher depression and anxiety risks.

Autistic Disorder

Children meeting a more stringent criteria for autism diagnosis have autistic disorder. They have higher language and social impairment and repetitive behavior. Seizures and mental retardation is common as well.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Require medical diagnosis Lab test sometimes required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Symptoms
Learning disability or speech delay in a child. Difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions. Obsessive interests and repetitive behaviours. Poor muscular coordination or tic.

Popular Health Tips

Can Speech Therapy Help Autistic Children?

B. Sc. Speech & Hearing
Speech Therapist, Delhi
Can Speech Therapy Help Autistic Children?

Autism is a developmental disorder that is usually diagnosed within the first three years of a child’s life. Speech disorders and an inability to communicate with others are characteristic symptoms of autism. Speech therapy can be very beneficial for such children. Thus, it is often a major part of a treatment plan for autism. Some of the benefits of speech therapy for autistic children include:

  1. Better articulation: Autistic children often find it hard to make certain sounds. Hence, they tend to babble or make harsh sounds or grunt instead of talking. A speech therapist can help the child learn to articulate sounds in a better way. For this, the therapist will help the child exercise the facial muscles and lips. This can make it easier for them to be understood by others.
  2. Treating echolalia: Echolalia refers to a child’s behaviour where he or she answers a question by repeating part of it. This may be because they find it difficult to express their own thoughts and feelings. Echolalia is very common amongst autistic children. Speech therapy is the only way to treat this condition. If left untreated, it could make the child withdraw into himself.
  3. Better vocabulary: Autistic children often memorize words without understanding them. A speech therapist can help the child put words into context and thus help reduce their dependence on gestures. This can also make autistic children more confident. In addition to expanding their vocabulary, a therapist can also teach children the proper time and place for communication. For example, when to say good morning and good evening.
  4. Initiate communication: When children are not confident of expressing themselves, they wait to be called on before saying anything. By helping them articulate sounds better and expanding their vocabulary, a speech therapist can help children gain the confidence needed to initiate conversations. With therapy, autistic children can also follow simple instructions and begin to answer questions independently. This will make them more independent.

Speech therapy does not follow the same techniques for all children. For therapy to be effective, the therapist must work in close collaboration with the child’s parents and caregivers to set the right goals and monitor the child’s progress. Some of the techniques that may be used include the use of electronic talkers, typing or signing, picture boards, facial exercise and massages, using rhyme to help construct sentences and using sounds to help the child expand speech sounds. If the child is non-verbal, the therapist may also introduce alternatives to verbal communication.

3 Steps To Manage Stress When Raising An Autistic Child!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Bangalore
3 Steps To Manage Stress When Raising An Autistic Child!

Parents are biologically and culturally programmed to take care of their little ones from the moment they set foot in this world. But an autism diagnosis can often shatter their world. It can be a difficult fact for parents to accept the special condition of their child, however, due to the nature of parenthood and love, with time they do learn to manage and cope up.

Dealing with the reality and facts of an autistic state can be challenging, but parents should comprehend the truth that with support, autistic children can lead a better and happy life.

Having said that, let us take a look at some of the coping strategies that you must employ after finding out that your offspring has been diagnosed with autism.

  1. Give time for personal growth: One of the effective ways through which parents can make sure that their children are well taken care of is to avoid overlooking their own needs, both physically and mentally. Raising autistic kids can sometimes be stressful and unmanageable, and it is imperative to handle the situation with a constructive approach. The last thing any parent would want is to vent out their frustration on their kids; hence, to make sure they are getting your complete attention, you must pay attention to your needs first.
  2. Channel your emotions in the right direction: You are bound to feel sad and depressed when you first come to learn about the diagnosis. If you really want to help your children and family hold together, it is necessary to let yourself experience every emotion that you feel in order to evolve yourself as a human and a parent. You can direct these emotions to grow compassion and acceptance. Also, you can channelize your emotions in a productive manner and this will prove supportive to your child as well.
  3. Consult an expert whenever required: Everyone in life faces a situation where asking for help becomes mandatory. Autism is one of those cases when reaching out to your close ones is an absolute must. Sharing your emotions and feelings with your friends and family can help them understand why you might be experiencing sadness and agitation.

Despite self-care and support, sometimes you may feel overwhelmed while raising an autistic child, and this is when you must seek guidance from a professional therapist or an autism specialist.

Finally, it is extremely important for you to make certain that your lives do not get defined by this situation. Of course, it is easier said than done, but dealing with your autistic child requires you to first take care of your body and mind, which can assure the better growth and development of your little one.

1 person found this helpful

Living With An Autistic Child - Tips For Parents!

MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Neurology, MBA, PGD Hospital Administration, PGD Echocardiography, Fellow Neuro-Sonology, PGD Sonology
Neurologist, Jalandhar
Living With An Autistic Child - Tips For Parents!

Along with the child, parents of an autistic child also need help coping with the disease. There are a number of simple things that can make a difference in the child and parent’s life. Here are a few tips.

  1. Give positive reinforcement: Like other children, autistic children also respond well to positive reinforcement. Praising an autistic child makes the children and parents feel better. In addition to words, giving a child extra playtime or a small prize can also be good ways to reward an autistic child.
  2. Stay Consistent: An autistic child needs consistency. Therefore, when it comes to activities regarding your child, it is important to maintain a schedule. Also, be consistent with advice or instructions. This can make learning easier and help them apply their knowledge.
  3. Play More: When teaching an autistic child, try making lessons into a playful activity. This may seem like pure fun but it can help a child learn more easily. These activities can also help an autistic child connect with their parent.
  4. Let your child accompany you on chores: An autistic child’s unpredictable behavior can make parents want to leave their child at home while performing chores. However, letting them accompany you can help them get used to the world outside your home.
  5. Get help: Parents need as much help as autistic children. This support can come from their families, friends, online support groups etc. This gives parents a good way to get information on autism as well as share advice.
  6. Use nonverbal cues: Connecting with an autistic child can be quite a challenge. For autistic children, verbal communication is as important as nonverbal communication. Pay attention to the tone of voice being used, body language, maintaining line of sight etc.
  7. Pay attention to the child’s sensory sensitivity: Autistic children may be hypersensitive to sound, light, smell etc. Understanding how sensitive the child is to sensory stimuli can help parents manage their child’s disruptive behavior and help promote positive responses.
  8. Take a Break: Parents need a break too. To be able to look after your child better, take a break from time to time. Ask someone else to look after your child while you go out and pay attention to your own needs.
  9. Read: Lastly, educate yourself and keep up to date with the latest in treating autism. The best way to do this is by reading papers and internet articles on autism. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1913 people found this helpful

Autism & Schizophrenia - What Is The Difference?

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Autism & Schizophrenia - What Is The Difference?

Both schizophrenia and autism are considered to be neurological disorders resulting from atypical neural development, occurring due to a variety of causes. Both these disorders have a genetic predisposition that may be due to environmental factors. However, there are a few basic differences between the two disease conditions.

Autism is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a spectrum of abnormal behaviour. They include persistent deficits in social communication and interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities.

Signs of autism in babies

  1. By 6 months - No social smiles or other warm, joyful expressions; limited to no eye contact
  2. By 9 months - No sharing of vocal sounds
  3. By 12 months - No babbling or use of gestures to communicate; not responding to one’s name when called
  4. By 16 months - No use of words
  5. By 24 months - No meaningful or two-word phrases

Signs of autism at any age

  1. Avoids eye contact and wants to be alone
  2. Finds it difficult to understand other people’s feelings
  3. Speaks very less or has delayed language development
  4. Echolalia - Repeats words or phrases
  5. Cannot accept change in routine or surroundings
  6. Performs repetitive behaviours like flapping or rocking
  7. Has restricted interests and hobbies
  8. Reacts unusually intense to sounds, smells, tastes, lights, colours etc.

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a neuropsychiatric disorder that begins during late adolescence and early adulthood. It is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and behavioural changes that cause social and occupational dysfunctions.

Signs of Schizophrenia

  1. The symptoms of schizophrenia are usually observed between ages 16 and 30, such as e.g. delusions, hallucinations, thought disorders, movement disorders etc.
  2. Delusions are false beliefs of the patient that may take many forms like delusions of persecution or grandeur. You may feel somebody is controlling you or may think you have extraordinary powers and abilities.
  3. Hallucinations are when the patient hears voices more than seeing, feeling, tasting or smelling random things, which are not actually there.
  4. Thought disorders are when the person jumps from one subject to another for no logical reason.
  5. Some negative symptoms i.e. these are symptoms which are normally present in a healthy individual, but are absent in a schizophrenic patient. E.g. absence of facial expressions, lack of motivation etc.
  6. Cognitive symptoms affect the individual’s thought process. They can be positive or negative based on their expression. E.g. poor ‘executive functioning’ which deals with the ability to understand information and make decisions using them, finding it difficult to focus etc.
  7. Although both Autsim spectrum disorder and schizophrenia are interlinked in their causes and neurological background, the symptoms for each disorder are different.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3892 people found this helpful

Autism Spectrum Disorder - How To Diagnose It?

Diploma in Psychological Medicine, Doing Post Diploma MD, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Ludhiana
Autism Spectrum Disorder - How To Diagnose It?

Autism spectrum disorders are a group of severe neurological and developmental disorders which begin in early childhood and can last throughout a person’s life. It affects the ability to interact with others and also hinders communication and well as learning ability. A proper health center can diagnose the presence of autism spectrum disorder early on. Many tests are available for evaluation and diagnosis as it is a range of disorders which can have a variety of symptoms. The environment and genetics also play a role in the development of autism spectrum disorder but the exact cause of autism spectrum disorder is not yet known.

Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder:

  1. Your child may not be able to respond when called by his or her name by 12 months age.
  2. Will avoid eye contact and also have the desire to stay alone.
  3. Have trouble understanding or relating to other people or talk about their own feelings.
  4. Delayed speech and language skills which would affect the ability to speak.
  5. Show unusual reaction to sound, smell, taste or feelings.
  6. Answering questions with unrelated answers that have no meaning or link.
  7. Prefer to play alone and would avoid physical contact.


Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

  1. Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation – The behavior of your child and development is first studied by the doctor in detail. The tests include genetic testing, neurological testing, hearing and vision testing among others. Doctors may also suggest other specialized tests in certain cases.
  2. Developmental Screening – The development of your child’s basic learning skills with respect to the age is checked. The doctor checks for some delays in the progress and will also monitor movement, behavior and speaking progress of the child. Some additional checks are also done for low birth weight, premature birth among other things.

Treatment:

  1. Applied behavioral analysis – This is a notable treatment and widely accepted by doctors all over the world. ABA is known to encourage positive behaviors and improves a variety of skills in a child.
  2. Occupational Therapy – Teaches the skills to live independently like eating, dressing and social skills. This can help people afflicted by autism spectrum disorders to lead a normal life within the society and thus relate to as well as interact with other people.
  3. Speech therapy – It improves and focuses primarily on communication skills and also uses picture boards and gestures to improve the abilities and induce learning skills.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2608 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My son is diagnosed for autism and he does not speak yet. He is 4 years old. Can you please let me know the treatment options.

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Chennai
You have to get the diagnosis confirmed by a psychiatrist and then go for behavior modification techniques from a Occupational therapist. There are many who do not do good job, so you really have to find one who does a good behavior therapy. It will help your son overcome the deficits.
1 person found this helpful

My grandson is three and half years. He is absolutely normal health wise. He goes to play school and seems to enjoy. He utters words like Amma appa ayyappa. But is not coming out with sentences. Vocabulary is limited. Very cheerful active playful. Some say he has mild Autism. For three months he went through some sort of speech therapy. Slight improvement was found. Eye contact is there. Some times he does tow walking. Beta tests are negative. What could we do? Any advice?

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry, DNB (Psychiatry), MRCPsych, MNAMS (Psychiatry)
Psychiatrist, Kannur
Respected Sir. I would like to request you to please forget about giving your grandson a diagnosis, atleast for now. Autism is quickly becoming a sort of "fashionable" diagnosis among the upper middle class people. I would like to know why you believe that he has Autism and supposing he does, I am sure you have already searched on the internet and consulted many others and already learnt that Autism as of now has no definitive treatment. From what I could gather from your question, he does appear to have mild delays in certain areas of development which I think will improve if given adequate training in that area. Also it would be advisable to keep monitoring his IQ and also identify other deficits as he grows up so that they can be caught early and managed accordingly. I would advise you to be in touch with a Pediatrician, Neurologist and Psychiatrist for regular followup of your grandson.
3 people found this helpful

My son is 3 years old. He can not speak till now. But he sing rhymes. Not properly but little. He do not follow instructions. From this week he started throwing lot of tantrums. Is he autistic? Or something is wrong with him? Or is it normal?

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT)
Occupational Therapist, Delhi
You should consult child neuropsychiatrist asap. Behavioral issues are there & as he is not speaking so might be some autistic spectrum disorder features are developing. To rule out the exact problem get in touch with the doctor as early as possible
1 person found this helpful

My grand daughter, aged 2 years 5 months. Has been diagnosed with" Developmental evaluation deferred to 6 months--mild to moderate symptoms of ASD ith Mixed Receptive & Expressive Language disorder. Can this be completely cured try Homeopathy? Roughly, how many months treatment would it involve? Kindly reply.

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), PG Diploma in Hospital Management, Bachelor in Occupational Therapy, CAS - Certified Autism Specialist, Sensory Enrichment Therapy, Early Childhood Special education, Drama Therapy
Occupational Therapist, Bangalore
Take proper and regular occupational therapy and sensory integration for your child. You will start seeing good change in her in around 8 sessions also. Continue therapy for atleast 6 mths to avoid regression.

Table of Content

What is Austim?

What are the Signs of Autism?

Behavior in ASD

What are the types of Autism?

Play video
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Good evening,

I am Dr. Lata Bhut, I am a pediatrician specially trained to handle a developmental problem in children and running Palak Child Development Centre in Mayur Vihar, Phase- 2, Delhi.

Today I am going to talk about Autistic spectrum disorder, earlier I spoke about how to suspect a child for high-risk Autism based on signs and symptoms, today I am going to talk about the evaluation and management of such children. Autism is a social communication skills disorder where this impairment nonverbal and verbal communication both and there repetitive behavior patterns which impaired child day to day functioning. Speech delay is the commonest presentation although they can be some intellectual disability in some children. So early intervention is very important because in earlier years especially below the age of 3 years brain has compass fantastic capacity to rewire in response to environmental stimulation and 1 to 3 years is the best age to teach speech and language to a child. So American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting early intervention starting specially below 2 years of age and do not wait till the diagnosis made because diagnosis may take some time, so all children should be scream for Autism between 18 to 24 months of age using a screening tool by a pediatrician and once a pediatrician suspects a child to be high risk for Autism, child should be referred to a development pediatrician or even if the parents suspect the child to be at risk for Autism they can come directly to the child development centre or to developmental pediatrician and the child is handled by multidisciplinary team of developmental paediatrician, paedia technologies, clinical psychologist, occupational therapies, special educators, speech and language therapist and parents are a part of the Core Team. In the diagnosis hearing assessment is very important because there is speech delay and other tests are done based on the clinical features and decide by the doctor, a detailed evaluation is done by the team using Autism diagnosis tools and once a diagnosis made or even before that early intervention is started once we suspect Autism. Early intervention involves intensive behavior modification therapy to teach nonverbal communication, speech, improve cognition, improve the independent self-help skills of the child and to enumerate the problematic behavior of the child. Occupation therapy, especially by the therapist trained in sensory integration, aims to develop self-help skills and fine motor skills and to enumerate the problematic sensory behaviors because if the child problem is sensory issues then the child can have difficult behavior, difficulty in learning and also in feeding. A special educator aims to give remedial education to help in academics and speech therapist in to develop speech of the child. It has to be individualized, goal-oriented, the intensive systematic model where we review it time to time because a development of change time to time, parents are a part of a Core Team. At least 25 hours per week of therapy should be given which means some hours at the center and followed by at least one and a half and two hours at home therapy should be done. And coming to the medications there is no medication to cure or Autism, although we can give medicines to enumerate the problematic behaviors and prognosis the earlier we start the better it is.

For any further queries, you can contact me on Lybrate.
Play video
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Good afternoon, I am Dr Lata Bhat, a developmental Pediatrician in Delhi. We take care of developmental disorders in children like Autism, Hyperactivity, ADHD, learning and physical disability. Today I will talk about Autism.

Autism is a spectrum disorder that means there is a wide range of presentations.

Why did I choose to speak on this topic? The incidents are alarmingly high. It is a sort of epidemic and if not addressed, it can lead to a disaster.

The cause is Genetic. If one child has got Autism then the siblings also have the maximum chance to suffer from the same disease.

How does it affect the children?

Autism affects the communication of the child. It affects the speech, language as well as the non- verbal communications. Communication is the exchange of thoughts, ideas between the two or more people. Speech is delayed.

How do the parents or a care taker suspect the child?

Initially, the norms of the communication come first and then the speech.

Play video
Symptoms of Autism
Here are some symptoms of autism in children

Symptoms of Autism
Hi! Good morning! This is Dr. Rakesh Jain. I m a Pediatric Neurologist working at Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon.
Today, I m going to talk briefly about autism which is very commonly seen nowadays, in children. I would like to tell you what are the common symptoms and how would you identify autism in the early childhood.
A child at the age of one year who doesn t do finger pointing, who doesn t have good eye contact, doesn t start uttering a single word, doesn t have a joint attention or there are some other concern like child doesn t mix up with the children of his own age, then, you must suspect either, there is some problem in hearing and accordingly you should go to a pediatrician to get him checked.

So, first of all, pediatrician would ask you to do a hearing test. If the hearing test is normal, then, we must think about the diagnosis of autism. It is called autistic spectrum disorder. It could be mild, moderate, severe. It may be associated with some other problems like some behavior problems, hyperactivity, poor attention, poor memory, epilepsy, so on and so forth. So, it is really important to diagnose this disorder as early as we can so that we can identify the cause of it and we can try to mend it accordingly.

And, there is no cure as such for autism. That s the scary thing that there is no cure but having diagnosed it properly, early in life, we could do so many things, lots of therapies, for example, occupational therapy, speech therapy, sensory integration, psychological support and there are some medication as well to help with the comorbidities, not to treat the disorder as a core treatment .

If you want to know any further about it, and if your child is having any of the symptoms please, do contact your local pediatrician for basic screening and if you want to reach me, you could either visit me or you could connect me through Lybrate.
Thank you very much for your kind attention!
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice