A range of intricate disorders of neurodevelopment, characterized by social impairments is called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The person suffering from ASD aggressively encounters communication difficulties along with limited, monotonous and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autism or classical ASD is also known as Autistic disorder. It is the most severe type of ASD. Asperger syndrome is characterized as its milder form. Approximately, 1 out of 88 children develops ASD under the age of 8. This condition is four times more common in males than in females.
Common signs of Autism
Impaired social interaction is the main feature of ASD. Babies born with ASD tends to be highly unresponsive or may become extremely focused on a single item. However, many children with ASD are normal before the age of 2 but after that they become withdrawn and indifferent towards social engagement.
An autistic child generally avoids eye contact and does not respond to his or her name being called. Also, the child is unable to interpret how others think or feel. This is because they are not able to apprehend the social cues. Autistic children lacks empathy. Other important signs are the repetitive movement including, twirling or rocking, extreme behaviors like biting or head banging, crying or laughing for hours with no reason.
Other conditions that are found in the ASD children consists of intellectual disability, tuberous sclerosis, learning abilities, epileptic seizures and also the disorder of attention deficit. 20 to 30 percent autistic children develop the condition of epilepsy when they reaches adulthood.
According to the experts, there are early indicators that are carefully monitored. These include, lack of pointing or babbling till the age of 1, no words or phrases by the age of 2, non-responsive towards own name, no eye contact, lining up of toys or objects excessively, poor language or social skills.
Autism diagnosis at a later stage include factors such as the inability to make friends, initiate or withstand conversations, lack of imagination, loyalty with certain rituals or routines.
Parent's observations play a vital role in the diagnosis of autism. Further information is gathered by the health care providers from a questionnaire or a screening instrument.
Causes of Autism
The exact cause of ASD is still unidentified. However, the researchers estimate that there is a role of genetics and environment in the development of this disorder. Also, there is a controversy that increasing number of vaccinations in children can be a cause of autism. However, there is lack of evidence for linking vaccinations with autism.
Treatment of Autism
Unfortunately there is no cure available for the ASDs. However, significant improvement can be brought in autistic children by various therapies and behavioral interventions. Certain medications are also helpful for decreasing the child's impulsivity and hyperactivity.
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