Autism is a mental disorder that begins in childhood that is characterized by persistent impairments in being to engage in social communication and interaction with others. A person with autism often has restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviours, interests or activities. The symptoms are present since childhood and impact a person’s everyday living. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. The article is fully described on autism spectrum disorder treatment, signs and symptoms and diagnosis.
Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently than other people. If you are autistic you are autistic for life. Autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be cured. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity. Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions. Meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.
Autism is much more common than most people think. It now affects every 1 in 110 children. People from all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can be autistic. Although it appears to affect more men than women.
Signs and Symptoms
Autism’s most obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier.
The severity level can sometimes be difficult to determine because of the unique mixture of symptoms shown in each child. However, within the range (spectrum) of symptoms below are the same common ASD actions and behaviour.
Social Communication and Interaction
- Fails to respond to his or her name, or appears not to hear you at times
- Resists cuddling and holding and seems to prefer playing alone – retreats into his or her own world
- Has poor eye contact and lack facial expression
- Doesn’t speak or has delayed speech, or may lose previous ability to say words or sentences
- Can’t start a conversation or keep on going, or may only start a conversation to make the request or label items.
- Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm, may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
- May repeat words or phrases verbatim but doesn’t understand how to use them
- Doesn’t appear to understand simple questions or directions
- Doesn’t express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others feelings
- Also doesn’t point at or bring objects to share the interest
- Inappropriately approaches a social interaction by being passive, aggressive or disruptive
Patterns of Behavior
- Perform repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping, or may perform activities that could cause harm, such as head-banging.
- Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed at the slightest change
- Moves constantly
- Maybe uncooperative or resistant to change
- Has problems with coordination or has odd movement patterns, such as clumsiness or walking on toes, and has odd, stiff or exaggerated body language
- May be fascinated by the details of an object. Such as the spinning wheels of a toy car. But doesn’t understand the “big picture” of the subject.
- May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch, and yet oblivious to pain.
- Does not engage in imitative or make-believe play
- May become fixated on an object or activity with abnormal intensity or focus
- May have odd food preferences, such as eating only a few foods or eating only foods with a certain texture
A diagnosis is the formal identification of autism, usually by a multi-disciplinary diagnostic team. Often including a speech and language therapist, paediatrician, psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Autism spectrum disorder treatment is different depends on the diagnosing stage.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment
There’s no cure for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, a range of specialist educational and behavioural program can help children with ASD. It can be difficult to know which intervention will work best for your child because each person with ASD is affected differently. Autism spectrum disorder treatment can be concluded as under:-
Any intervention should focus on important aspects of a child’s development. These are:
Communication skills – such as using pictures to help communicate (as speech and language skills are usually significantly delayed)
Social interaction skills – such as the ability to understand other people’s feelings and respond to them
Imaginative play skills – such as encouraging pretend play
Academic skills – the “traditional” skills a child needs to progress with their education, such as reading writing and math’s
The detailed assessment, management and coordination of care for children and young people with ASD should involve local specialist community-based multidisciplinary teams (sometimes called “local autism teams”) working together.
The team may include:
For autism spectrum disorder treatment team may include A paediatrician> mental health specialists, such as a psychologist and psychiatrist > a learning disability specialist > a speech and language therapist > An occupational therapist > education and social care services