Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder which impairs the social interaction and communication in children. However, besides these symptoms they may show other symptoms as well. Like speech problem, repetitive rigid behaviour. Because of the complexity in the symptoms, it is otherwise known as the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Genetic factors play a key role in causing autism. However, not taking vaccination during pregnancy can be among other causes as well.
Some of the symptoms found are-
- Speech problem– Autistic children usually cannot speak properly, notably, to pronounce words correctly.
- Cognitive and communication problem– Speech problems lead to analysis and communication problems.
- Motor and sensory issues– Autistic children may show delayed developmental milestones.
- Repetitive unusual behaviours– Non-interactive, no eye contact, smiling and babbling
- Sleep dysfunstion– They might be having sleeping problem
- Verbal and Non- verbal language issues in adult children
- Gastro-intestinal Disorder
- Seizure disorder
Some of the later symptoms are-
- Inability to make friends
- Repetitive unusual use of languages
- Absence of imaginative ideas
The percentage of autistic children with IQ level below 70, has been anywhere between 25% to 70%. Of these, 50% have IQ below 50. Usually the symptoms remain unnoticeable during birth, but as the child grows, it may show signs of autism. Children with autism have trouble with communicating with other children. They do not understand what others say and think.
These children have a typical repetitive stereotyped body movement like rocking, pacing or hand flapping. But studies have shown that these type of children have unusually developed skills in drawing, creating music, solving maths problems, memorizing facts. It is more common in boys than in girls.
Types of Autism :
In recent years, doctors have stopped to identify different types of autism as all the types are now recognized as Autism Spectrum Disorder, referring to the fact that it is a disorder that falls under a spectrum. However, for the sake of better understanding of this condition, let’s discuss the types of autism that used to be there till 2013:
- Autistic dis-order– It refers to problems related to social, interactions, communication.
- Asperger’s syndrome– They do not have language problem , but have social and limited scope of interest in thing.
- Atypical Autism / Pervasive developmental dis-order– They have some autistic behaviours but do not fit into other categories.
- Childhood disintegrative dis-order– The symptoms appear after two years of age and loose most or some of the communication skills that they have already learnt.
It consists of –
- Behavioural therapy/education- Parents and children both need education how to deal with it. Behavioural changes are seen in autistic children. Children are told how to talk , behave with elders .
- Family counselling- Family should know all the ways to deal with their children, all about autism.
- Anger management- Practising mindfulness
- Sensory processing- This can be done through various plays and games, through physiotherapy.
- Physiotherapy- For improving the motor and sensory integration. Improving the co-ordination, balance
- Speech therapy- For language, communication issues.
- Occupational therapy
- Clinical psychologist
- Primary Care Provider.
There are various organisations which are working towards eradication and taking care of autistic children like National society for Autistics (NSA), International society for Autism Research (INSAR), Autism Canada, Indian Sports Federation Of Autism, etc.
Autistic children are no different from normal children, but they need extra care and love from parents and society to overcome the symptoms.