To give you a little introduction, Autism Disorder is a common neurological disorder that impacts the behavioral and communicational aspects of the human brain. Even though this disorder is a common occurrence, awareness regarding this particular condition is not enough.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological condition that hampers the development of the human brain, thereby resulting in the impairment of proper communication and interaction. This disorder can result in problems related to the senses of thinking, feeling, learning, and umpteen such related behavioral patterns.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is also an umbrella term that encompasses a myriad of conditions that including Autistic disorder, Pervasive development disorder as well as Asperger syndrome.
What are the symptoms of Autism Disorder?
Following are the different characteristics that are commonly found in people suffering from this neurological disorder:
- Delayed development of language skills
- Delayed development of movement
- Delayed development of learning skills
- Constant repetition of motor or sensory movements that could include flapping arms and clapping
- Occurrence of seizures
- Unusual eating habits
- Unusual sleeping patterns
- Hyperactive or impulsive behavior
- Occurrence of gastrointestinal issues
- Unusual lack of fear or excessive fear
- Extreme emotional reactions
- Presence of obsessive interests
It is always advisable to consult an expert or seek medical assistance if you observe any of these symptoms in your child. However, the presence or absence of any of these symptoms does not necessarily confirm if a person is suffering from it. Therefore, it becomes essential to seek proper expect advice to get a clearer picture of this condition.
How can Autism be diagnosed?
There are no specific laboratory tests that can be put to use to determine the presence of Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, certain healthcare providers are specifically trained to perform a myriad of screenings and evaluations in case they are required and could ask the parents, teachers, or guardians of these children to keep a track of the observations. These providers might include professionals like specialized physicians, psychologists, and speech-language pathologists.
What could be the possible causes of Autism ?
There is no clear or specific factor as to what are the causes behind the occurrence of Autism. Some causes that are backed by a myriad of research include genetic as well as environmental factors. The presence of specific genetic causes can only be identified in 10% to 20% of cases. These cases encompass specific genetic syndromes associated with ASD and rare changes in the genetic code.
The risk factors pertaining to Autism include older parental age, low birth weight, prematurity, and maternal use of valproic acid or thalidomide during pregnancy, among others. This field of study is still undergoing a lot of research studies.
Which doctor to consult for autism?
Since Autism Disorder impacts the entire nervous system, you would particularly see a general physician or a neurologist. However, for specific treatments, you may want to visit a speech therapist, child psychologist, pediatrician, and psychiatrist.
How can Autism Disorder be treated permanently?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is mostly a permanent neurological condition that lasts for the lifetime of the person suffering from it. Both children and adults with autism are known to benefit greatly from behavioral interventions or therapies that can teach new skills to address the core deficits of autism and reduce its core symptoms. A striking aspect of Autism Spectrum Disorder is that every child and adult going through it is unique. For this reason, the treatment plan has to be curated in a way that is individualized to meet their specific needs. It is best to begin therapeutic interventions as soon as possible so that their benefits can continue throughout life.
Many people going through Autism Spectrum Disorder often suffer from additional medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal and feeding issues, seizures, and sleep disturbances. The treatment for the disorder can involve behavioral therapy, medications, or both.
Early intensive behavioral treatments involve the contribution and participation of the patient’s entire family and possibly a team of professionals. As your child ages and develops, treatment may be modified to cater to their needs as per that point in time.
During adolescence, children highly benefit from transition services that promote skills of independence essential in adulthood. The focus at that point is to prepare them for employment opportunities and job skill training.
Even though there is a comparatively better environment of awareness regarding the situation of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the world, we still have a myriad of research and studies going on so that the causes, detection, and treatment of this neurological disorder can be understood more clearly.