Autism

A Parents Guide Navigating Through the Journey of Autism

ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects a child’s development. Autism starts in the womb, although children with ASD may not be identified until they are in preschool or even elementary school (or older) when symptoms of the disease become more apparent.

Children with ASD have a mix of two types of behaviors: communication and social skills deficiencies and limited or repetitive activities. Because people with the disease might have various symptoms, cognitive capacities, language skills, and behaviors, it’s termed a spectrum.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Criteria

A combination of the following symptoms may indicate a communication and social skills deficit:

When it comes to younger children (under three years):

  • Aversion to shows of love 
  • Preference for solitary play 
  • Failure to react to their name 
  • Disinterest in giving, sharing, or exhibiting things of interest

Older children:

  • Difficulty maintaining a reciprocal or back-and-forth discussion 
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Difficulty reading and using others’ body language 
  • Difficulty detecting others’ emotions, responding correctly to various social circumstances, and comprehending social connections
  • Aversion to public shows of affection 
  • Preference for alone time

Children who have limited or repetitive behaviors repeat acts and rituals and concentrate on little details to the point of distraction. Furthermore, they may:

  • Be irritated by slight alterations to one’s routine
  • Instead of playing with toys or things, line, sort, or organize them.
  • Have extraordinary sensory sensitivity -Exhibit a consuming interest in a specific topic or thing

A child’s symptoms in these two domains must be present in early infancy to match the criteria for ASD. However, they may not become completely evident until later, when social demands surpass limited skills. Alternatively, they may be apparent at first and then disguised later by learning methods.

These symptoms must also result in clinically severe impairment in social, occupational, academic, or other areas of functioning.

Children with autism spectrum conditions frequently have sensory problems and varied cognitive and linguistic abilities, in addition to the two necessary criteria for diagnosis.

Sensory issues: Many autistic children are hypersensitive to noises, lighting, textures, and scents. Overwhelmed by sensory input, they may escape or melt down when confronted with bright lights, loud noises, or bustle. Alternatively, they may be looking for additional sensory information, which they may acquire by bumping into objects and touching and sniffing things excessively.

Verbal issues: Autism affects some children’s capacity to communicate verbally. Others speak in a stilted tone or a high-pitched or exaggerated “sing-song” voice. Children with autism who are very vocal may dominate discussions while displaying little reciprocity or knowledge of what the other person wants or feels.

Autistic children may also repeat sentences without seeming to comprehend their meaning or have what specialists refer to as “non-functional knowledge,” or information they can recite but not apply to solve issues or carry on a conversation.

Medical issues and other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, ADHD, and depression, can affect children on the spectrum, and their symptoms might be mistaken for autism.

Types of Treatments for Autism

There are several therapy options available. Applied behavior analysis, social skills training, occupational therapy, physical therapy, sensory integration therapy, and assistive technology are some options.

The following categories can be used to identify different sorts of treatments:

  • Approaches to Behavior and Communication
  • Dietary Considerations
  • Medication
  • Alternative and Complementary Medicine

For more information, please visit CDC | Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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