Autism is becoming more common. According to statistical data, in developed countries, an autistic spectrum disorder (RAS) is diagnosed on average in 1 out of 70 children. Manifestations of Children’s autism are quite diverse: some children experience severe suffering, cannot speak, rarely (or never) look at other people’s eyes and often demonstrate repetitive behaviors. Other children with RAS look and act so typically that, at first glance, it is impossible to realize that something is wrong. When and how is RAS manifested in childhood, what are its causes and what can parents do to help the child?
Children’s autism causes and risk factors
Because Children’s autism includes such a wide range of behavioral variations and characteristics, it can be difficult to understand what exactly is PAC. But, despite this range, all children with RAS have certain problems. Autism is a developmental disorder in which the child has problems with communication, social skills, and unusual behavior. Children with an autistic spectrum disorder may start talking late (or not at all). They find it difficult to communicate with other people. And they repeat certain behavior, movements, for example, swinging or waving their hands, again and again. No one knows what causes autism or why in recent years the number of children with this diagnosis has increased. Most researchers suspect a genetic etiology, and it is also understandable that previously undefined deviations began to be included in the autistic spectrum. Children whose siblings have RAS are also most often “in the spectrum”, and studies among identical twins have shown that if one child has a RAS, then the other also shows up with a frequency of 60 to 96%. Certain genomic pathologies, including Down syndrome and disorders in chromosome X, may increase the risk of developing PAC. Also, some of the drugs taken by the mother during pregnancy, such as antidepressants of a certain type, may also be affected. It is important to know that vaccines do not cause autism. It is known that the sensational article, which claimed the connection between vaccination and autism, contains falsified data. The results of other studies also did not confirm the correlation between vaccination and the development of autism. Read more: Panic attacks in the metro: how to overcome?
Signs and symptoms of an autistic spectrum disorder in children
Autism is usually diagnosed when the children are about four or five years old, but many parents report that they have noticed anxious symptoms before children reach the age of three. About one-third of parents noticed symptoms already at the age of one year, 80% are sure that something like “turned off” when their child was two years old. Children with RAS can develop according to the schedule in the first few months or years of life, but, in the final analysis, lag behind certain stages of development, and this is especially evident in speech development. That is why pediatricians and specialists in children’s autism encourage parents to get acquainted with the typical stages of development and consult a doctor if the child does not reach them in time. Until a year, kids walk, vocalize, use index gestures and other types of gestures. By a year and a half from the child expect a few separate words, at least syllabic, and to two years – sentences of two words. It’s minimum. Read more: Where to go to have a rest with your child
Other early symptoms of PAC include:
- lack of interest in objects,
- index gesture to 14 months; repetition of words and phrases again and again;
- avoidance of eye contact;
- excessive and negative emotional reaction to minor changes in routine, mode, route, the order of things in the room;
- any repetitive, intrusive movements: clapping hands, waving hands, swinging, spinning, etc .;
- deepening in any one occupation or game, rigidity in interests;
- the absence of associative games by 18 months;
- an unusual reaction to new objects, sounds, tastes, smells and physical sensations, increased or decreased sensitivity.
Diagnosis and early intervention: what professionals and parents can help a child
If the child has any developmental delays, the pediatrician is likely to refer him to treatment, even if Children’s autism has not been diagnosed. Because early intervention is crucial for children with any developmental delay. It is also necessary to undergo a comprehensive survey to exclude other possible causes of any developmental delays, such as hearing loss. Children can also be examined by a pediatrician, a neurologist, a child psychologist, a psychiatrist for a formal diagnosis. These experts will look for difficulties in communication, low social skills, repetitive and unusual behavior. When the symptomatology coincides, an autistic spectrum disorder is diagnosed, and the parents begin to seek treatment. One must know that there is no known, proven treatment for autism – despite the fact that you can read on the Internet. There are many “fast” techniques, therapies promoted on different sites, but in fact, the correction of the RAS is not a quick solution. Although there is no pill, a special set of exercises or a diet that will cure autism, experts know for sure that early intervention is helpful. Early intervention programs are designed to meet the needs of specific children and can vary from child to child. If a child has communication problems, parents need to find a way to communicate. The goal of early intervention is to help children learn how to communicate, teach them. During the diagnosis, it is impossible to find out how much the specific child will overcome the symptoms of autism in the future. But the sooner parents start therapy, the better the children. It is necessary to discuss any promising methods of treatment with specialists. There are many people who claim that they have excellent methods of treating autism. And it is likely that this method works for one child or even for thousands, but this does not mean that it will work 1001 times. New treatments, such as music therapy or immune therapy, may be useful for some children with ASD, but no one knows which children will most likely benefit, and unproven therapies can be (and usually are) quite expensive. Specialists recommend: until a correlation is found between the characteristics of children with RAS and new methods of treatment, it is necessary to adhere to the main types of therapy, such as speech therapy and behavioral therapy. And be careful with other recommendations. Any treatment plan should include a family. Parents who find themselves in a similar situation need support and understanding. Communication with other parents of children with RAS, at least on Internet forums, assistance, information exchange is often priceless and as a source of knowledge, and as a resource of moral strength.
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