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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

Autistic Children - 5 Effective Ways You Can Handle Them!

Diploma in Psychological Medicine, Doing Post Diploma MD, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Ludhiana
Autistic Children - 5 Effective Ways You Can Handle Them!

As parents, it is important that you should arrange for an early intervention if you notice that your child is suffering from any of the below-mentioned signs as they can be an indicator of autism in your child:

  • Not being able to utter a sound even after 6 months
  • Unresponsive to stimulants, whereby the child fails to make any gestures
  • Incoherent blabbering which fails to make any sense even after the child is 24 months old

An autistic child is way more sensitive than other children. Dealing with them can be challenging for the parents but it is not impossible. To deal with an autistic child effectively, follow these tips:

  1. Early intervention is a must: As soon as you detect that your child is suffering from autism, seek help. There are various methods to treat autism like behavior therapy, speech-language therapy, play-based therapy, occupational therapy amongst others. As parents, you have to figure out which therapy is better for your child or to which therapy is your child responding to. Based on your observation and the evaluation of the therapist, you need to engage your child and encourage changes.
  2. Repeat at home what your child learns at school: Often an autistic child learns certain skills at the school but fails to apply them in other environments, both social and personal. You need to get acquainted with the kinds of therapeutic methods that are being taught to him/her and repeat them in your home or within a social milieu to encourage proper implementation.
  3. Reward them: An autistic child needs a lot of support from the parents in order to function in a healthy manner. Therefore, reward his/her positive behaviors with items that the child cherishes, like his/her favorite toys or stickers. Show the child that you care, in whichever way you find it fit.
  4. Observe the body language of your child: Autistic children will make certain gestures to convey their feelings. You need to observe your child and understand what kind of stimulus irks him/her and what kind of stimulus makes him/her happy. Based on your observation you need to keep your child away from negative spurs and bring in more positive impetuses in his/her life.
  5. Engage your child in recreational activities: An autistic child is no different from a normal child as far as his/her need for fun time is concerned. Maintain your child’s schedule regularly and allocate time for recreational activities, most preferably games. Let your child mix with other autistic children. A happy disposition will help your child turn his/her obstacles into opportunities.
1 person found this helpful

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.

2667 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

Why Spacing Your Pregnancies Is Good For You?

Certification in IVF & Infertility, Diplomate Gynae Laparoscopy, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG), MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Ghaziabad
Why Spacing Your Pregnancies Is Good For You?

Spacing pregnancies is an essential part of family planning. Although it rests on individual preferences, there are certain psychological and economical factors associated with it.

Factors That Decide The Spacing Of Pregnancy-

  1. The mother’s childbearing abilities, general health and fertility.
  2. The family’s income and financial condition.
  3. The choice to have more than one child.
  4. Pressure from the family members to go through another pregnancy.
  5. The child’s wish to have sibling/s.

Risk Associated With Close Consecutive Pregnancies-

  1. Health risks, especially in case of a very recent C-section. The mother may not be able to recover fully from the physical or mental stress of pregnancy,
  2. None of the children receive wholesome attention from parents as both will be very young. This may create resentment in both children.
  3. The second baby may have very low birth weight.
  4. Depletion of nutrients in the mother’s body. This can happen in case the mother has been breastfeeding recently.
  5. There can be genital inflammation during the second childbirth and labour.
  6. There are researches that show the increasing rate of autism in the second born child who the mother delivers within a short span, after the first pregnancy.

Risks Associated With Pregnancies Spaced Too Far Apart-

  1. Sometimes there are risks of premature babies and low birth weight.
  2. Some mothers may be slightly unwilling to go through the entire process of bringing up a child, as it is emotionally and physically very demanding.
  3. It might pose some birth complications if the mother does not have age on her side.

Besides these, spacing out pregnancies may actually be beneficial because it provides the first child enough love and care. Also, at a certain age, the child is mature enough to welcome a new member. He or she may even want to share responsibilities with parents in looking after the young baby. In this way, none of the children are denied attention. Also, once a woman goes through the entire experience of motherhood, she will find it easier to go through the process once more, without panicking. Parents are also able to take up the responsibility of the second child with more maturity as they are better informed. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

2781 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My son is 3 n half year old n maybe he have autism. Is autism can be cure? N can they leave normal life? please suggest.

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT), Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Occupational Therapist, Delhi
Hello mam/sir Please go for detail screening of your child. Earlier the intervention given to child, more chances to be cured, depending on severity. If you need any help Please feel free to call through lybrate.

My son is mild autistic, he is currently aged 16 years, going through the adolescence. He recently started complaining about his scary life, he wants to die, he wants to injure himself. I presume - these are due to hormonal changes and depression. Can you suggest a remedy for this?

PGDCA, BA-Psychology, MA-Psychology, Phd Understanding Mental Retardation
Psychologist, Delhi
Autistic children are more energetic than Normal Children Send him to a normal school to keep himself busy and have a regular routine.

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.
3 people 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

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