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