What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder. It affects communication and socialization. People living with autism have difficulty learning, yet some do well working in fields like technology and art that utilize their strengths.
Your child has difficulty with understanding subtle gestures and facial expressions, may struggle with body language and grasp figures of speech.
People living with autism may have difficulty learning, communicating and interacting with others. They may exhibit unusual interests and behaviors such as obsessions or repetitive movements. Autism causes difficulty understanding others quickly; people affected may become upset easily when touched. They might prefer spending their time alone. Sleep problems could occur or they could have trouble sleeping due to being oversensitive to sounds, sights and smells.
Autism often runs in families, and scientists have identified numerous genes which increase one’s risk. Twin studies – both identical and non-identical – were conducted to compare risk profiles between twins; there was an impressive 91% concordance rate among identical twins which suggests genetics is at play here.
Studies suggest environmental factors as a possible contributor to autism. This could include air pollution, infections during gestation, certain medicines and vaccines (especially those containing mercury), as well as older parental age at conception. More research should be conducted in order to confirm these findings.
Symptoms of autism range from difficulty communicating and understanding others to difficulty making friends or keeping a job. Autism often makes life harder by favoring predictability over sudden change, preferring repetitive routine over unpredictable encounters – often getting upset if their schedule is disrupted and being hypersensitive to noises, light levels or smells which would normally go unnoticed by others.
Parent should keep an eye out for early signs of autism in their child and discuss them with their pediatrician as soon as possible. Parents know their children best, and may detect things a pediatrician wouldn’t in just 15 minutes visit. Autism often coexists with anxiety disorders or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), making employment harder.
If your child meets diagnostic criteria, they will undergo an assessment by a team of specialists – this might include developmental pediatricians, child neurologists, psychologists and/or psychiatrists – who might also ask you to fill out a questionnaire about his or her behavior and development.
Your child’s doctor will assess his or her strengths and differences from other kids their age. They’ll ask about your interests, playability, learning capabilities and any repetitive behaviour they exhibit; in addition, they want to know whether your child has difficulty with emotion or relationships and if they make eye contact or smile frequently.
People who are high-functioning may display some symptoms that set them apart from other adults, including dedicating themselves to certain activities or following specific rituals, becoming upset when things change and paying close attention to details like dates and numbers. They might have unique ways of dealing with stress compared to most others – pacing, rocking or even humming are among many examples.
Long ago, doctors saw one case of autism per 2000 children; since the ’80s however, that number has steadily increased. ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder – an umbrella condition comprising several subcategories of ASD which have different symptoms and manifestations among their users.
Researchers don’t fully understand what causes autism, but they do know it alters communication and relationships among people, as well as prompting them to think, play and behave in unusual ways.
There are various treatments available to those living with autism, including speech therapy, occupational therapy and psychological therapies – which can teach skills and alter behavior – along with medications which may help ease symptoms such as anxiety or hyperactivity.
Be wary of remedies or cures purporting to cure autism. Such treatments typically rely on unproven theories as to its cause; examples could include vaccination or deficient nutrients; some of these treatments could even be dangerous; it’s wise to consult with a developmental pediatrician or psychologist first before making decisions regarding your child’s needs and possible solutions.