Autism or “Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)” is a neuro developmental disorder which is becoming more and more common in today’s society. Diagnosing the problem at an early stage and getting the best treatment plan is of utmost importance so that the disease can be controlled.
A child becomes autistic either in its mother’s womb or in the early childhood. In some cases, it starts from the age of six months and can be completely diagnosed or determined by the age of two or three years and these disorders continue in the adulthood also.
What Are The Factors That Lead to This Disorder?
Genomic research suspects that people with autism share genetic traits with individuals with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or clinical depression. So genetics is an important determinant.
The Signs and Symptoms of ASD
There are no such distinct signs or symptoms that determine autism. However, there is a range of conditions that make an autistic child very different from others. Autistic kids are very different from others. Unlike other kids, they find it very difficult to make connections with others. They are socially ‘clumsy’.
The main signs are difficulty in communicating or expressing thoughts and feelings, repeating a few actions or gestures, compulsive behaviour, unvarying pattern of daily activities, preoccupation with one toy or TV program. Sometimes the kids end up injuring themselves by poking their eyes or biting their body parts.
About 30% of autistic kids suffer from self-injury. Other issues in these kids’ health are malnutrition, poor muscle tone, poor motor planning, toe walking.
The Best Medicine
According to the autism doctors, each child is unique so the intervention plan should be sketched keeping the individual child in mind. The plan needs both empathy or behavioural treatment and medicines. The treatment includes the kid’s entire family and they have to work on the kid’s health just like an intensive care unit.
They will also need the therapist’s guidance. The same goes for the kid’s education centre or the special school. The transition services can assist these special kids when they reach their adolescence.
Methods included in these early interventions are the Lovas Model and the Early Start Denver Model. Other therapies like Floortime, Pivotal Response Therapy and Verbal Behaviour Therapy also have been fruitful in many cases of autism.
These interventions also provides at least 25 hours of therapeutic activity sessions per week where they pay attention and respect the unique needs, thoughts and values of the child and family.