Conditions that are included in the category of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are wide-ranging in their effects. Social engagement and communication can be challenging for them. Behaviors and activities that deviate from the norm include being preoccupied with minute details, having unusual reactions to stimuli, and having trouble switching gears between tasks.
Autistic people’s strengths and needs are diverse and might change over time. Some persons with autism can function independently, but others have significant difficulties and will need assistance for the rest of their lives. Opportunities for learning and work are often hampered for people with autism. Not to mention, giving care and support can put a heavy burden on family members.
A person’s quality of life on the autism spectrum is heavily influenced by societal views and the quantity of support provided by local and national authorities. Each child is different; hence the characteristics of autism are also different in most children.
The signs to look out for in a child with autism:
Social communication and interaction skills:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients may struggle with social communication and interpersonal skills.
Characteristics of ASD-related social communication and engagement include:
- Does not keep eye contact with people
- Shows no response to the name for at least 9 months
- Does not play simple interactive games
- Does not express any facial signs of happy or sad
- Does not mingle with other children of the same age
- Does not point to anything that interests them until a certain age
Restricted or Repetitive Behaviors or Interests:
Individuals on the spectrum may exhibit peculiar habits or hobbies. These signs of autism and interests distinguish autism spectrum disorder from conditions limited to social communication and engagement difficulties.
Repetitive or limited activities and interests are typical of those with an autism spectrum disorder.
- Displays anger when objects are rearranged from their predetermined placement.
- Repeats certain words or phrases
- Play with all the toys in the same manner.
- Seem interested in a single aspect of a toy (for example wheels)
- Gets upset over minor changes
- Shows interest in following certain routines
Other signs of ASD in children
It’s not uncommon for people with ASD to also exhibit a number of related characteristics. Some of these could be:
- Delay in developing language skills
- Delay in developing movement skills
- Delay in developing cognitive or learning skills
- Hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive behavior
- Epilepsy or seizure disorder
- Unusual eating and sleeping habits
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Unusual mood or emotional reactions
- Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry
- There is either no fear or more fear than usual.
A pediatrician specialist in autism can help diagnose autism by examining the signs, as all children are not the same.
What are the types of autism disorders that fall in the autism spectrum disorders?
Experts used to talk about different kinds of autism, like autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, but not anymore (PDD-NOS). But now they’re all called “autism spectrum disorders.”
This is not as bad as some autism symptoms. A person with Asperger’s may be very smart and able to take care of their everyday life. They may be very interested in certain things and always talk about them. But it’s much harder for them to make friends.
Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD):
This long name for a diagnosis was given to most children with autism, which was worse than Asperger’s syndrome but not as bad as an autistic disorder.
This older diagnosis lies between Asperger’s and Pervasive Developmental Disorder on the autism spectrum. It has the same kinds of symptoms, but they are much worse.
Childhood disintegrative disorder:
This part of the spectrum was rare and the worst. It talked about kids who grow up normally but lose a lot of social, language, and mental skills quickly, usually between the ages of 2 and 4. Often, these kids also got a disorder that made them have seizures.
Though there are other types of autism, those mentioned above are the most common ones.
What might be the cause of developing ASD?
Autism Spectrum Disorder has no clear cause. Research has found that some genetic and environmental factors are to blame. Only 10–20% of the time can a specific genetic cause be found. Some of these cases involve rare genetic code changes and genetic syndromes linked to ASD.
Are siblings at risk of being diagnosed with ASD?
Autistic traits can be inherited. After an ASD diagnosis in the family, the chance of autism in subsequent children is around 20% higher. In addition, the chance of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a third kid in a household is increased by roughly 32 percent if the condition has already been diagnosed in the first two children.
How is a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) treated?
Many people with ASD have to deal with it for the rest of their lives. Although behavioral interventions or therapies can teach new abilities to children and adults with autism, addressing the basic weaknesses of autism and alleviating the primary symptoms, these therapies are usually recommended by an autism specialist, depending on the child’s need. Consult an autism specialist in Coimbatore if your child is diagnosed with autism and requires treatment.
Autistic people, both young and old, are all individuals. Because of this, the autism treatment strategy is tailored to each patient’s needs. So that the therapeutic advantages of treatment may be sustained over the long term, it is ideal for initiating interventions as early as possible.
Common co-occurring disorders among those with ASD include difficulties with eating and swallowing, epileptic fits, and restless nighttime waking. Therefore, both behavioral therapy and medicine have a place in treatment.
The whole family, and sometimes a whole team of experts, is involved in the first stages of intensive behavioral treatment. Your child’s treatment may change as they grow and mature.
Adolescents might greatly profit from transition services that teach them self-sufficiency and other lifelong skills. At that point, assistance locating a career and learning the necessary skills for that position will be priorities.
Understanding the outlook of the condition:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms tend to improve with age. Therefore, parents of children with autism spectrum disorder may need to be adaptable and willing to make treatment changes as their child progresses.
Even if people with ASD go on to lead “normal” lives, they will likely require ongoing assistance and support even into old age. Depending on how severe the symptoms are, different measures may be required. It’s a chronic condition that may require autism treatment for the rest of a person’s life.