Frequently Asked Questions about Autism

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Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that appears with a difficulty in communication, behavioural problems and problems with social interactions. Autism Spectrum Disorder appears during early childhood and the symptoms include high psychomotor activity, language deficit, restricted activities and interests.
Take your child to a doctor for basic interventions and screening tests. Understand the common autistic behavioural problems. The common problem may include behavioural problems such as hurt themselves or hurt others, communication problem or sleep problems. Consult a counsellor to learn how to deal with your child in such situations and follow your doctor’s suggestions.
There is no single cause for this disorder. One of the reasons might be neurological causes; due to chemical imbalances. Also, it could be genetic, environmental factors or any complications during pregnancy or parenting styles. Researchers are still investigating the real cause and are trying to lower the rate of children being affected by autism.
Basically, prognosis rate for this disorder is very low. Studies have found out that only 5-17% of children have good adjustment in childhood. Special schools and treatment may help to run a life; although core difficulties tend to remain. Few symptoms decrease by age.
Boys are more likely to get affected with autism. Also, people having their siblings or immediate family members with autism are also likely to develop the condition. Sometimes thechild with autism may also be diagnosed with learning disorders such as, ADHD or Down syndrome. Also, environmental factors and the mother’s habits also influence baby’s health. If the mother had consumed substance or if the baby was a preterm baby, such disorders are likely to occur.
Babies less than a year may not make an eye contact or respond to the mother or any stimulus around it, hand flapping, motor troubles, not the way as a normal 1- year child would be; that’s when parents can predict the child to have some difficulty.
By diagnosing the above-said symptoms, by giving stimulus and seeing the response. For this particular disorder blood tests and scans are of no use. There are psychological tests available like M-CHAT (modified Checklist of Autism in Toddlers) by which it can be further evaluated about a child’s condition.
Medications may not give a 100% solution to this problem. Though few symptoms like aggression, self-injurious behaviour, and severe tantrums can be controlled by medicines. Mostly drugs are not preferred for kids. And they may cause side effects.
Having said that autism has genetic factors as a cause, it affects if any person in the family who has had psychiatric problems as well. And no wonder people with autism develop anxiety disorders and depression. Again, medicines play a limited role, but few behavioural therapies can manage to play a role here. This may improve the function and quality of life.
You can make your home safe for your child by giving some attention and taking precautions. Autistic kids keep roaming around parents when they are engaged in any work. Keep sharp objects like knife away from the reach of the child. Pull out the plug of electrical appliances. Lock your main doors when you are in with some work. Avoid keeping glass and mirror objects at the reach of kids.