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Autism: does your child suffer from ASD?

Autism, is also referred as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is a complex developmental disability that impacts the ability of an individual to perceive and socialize with others, mainly causing issues with social interaction and communication. Let us understand few points regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  • The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide array of symptoms of varying severity.
  • Autism spectrum disorder incorporates conditions that were previously viewed as separate diseases like autism, childhood disintegrative disorder and Asperger’s syndrome.
  • The disorder additionally comprises of limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. It begins in early infancy and in time causes problems with social interaction and communication skills for example in school and at work.
  • Children usually manifest symptoms of autism within the first year itself. While few children also appear to develop ordinarily in the first year but then between 18 and 24 months of age go through a period of regression when they develop autistic symptoms.
Autism signs and Symptoms
Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Each child with autism spectrum disorder is likely to manifest a unique pattern of behavior and level of severity ranging from low to high functioning.

Some common signs:

  • lacks facial expression and seems to avoid eye contact with people
  • Does not respond to his or her name or appears not to hear you at times.
  • Repeats words, phrases or verses but doesn’t really know how to use them in meaningful ways.
  • Doesn’t express emotions or feelings and appears ignorant or rather indifferent of others’ feelings.
  • Does not start a conversation or isn’t able to continue an ongoing one.
  • Withdrawal from the society is noticed quite often. The child prefers playing alone and retreat into their own world.
  • Resists cuddling and holding, doesn’t want to be approached by others.

In addition to the above mentioned manifestations, people with ASD may show limited, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities like:

  • Continuous spinning, rocking or hand flapping
  • Cause self-harm, such as biting or banging their head.
  • Unusually sensitive to sound, light or touch, yet may be insensitive to pain or temperature.
  • Fixate on an object or an activity with abnormal intensity or focus.
  • Has problems with coordination and patterns of odd movements like walking on toes, might be noticed.
  • Develop a specific and fixed routine or ritual and become anxious at the slightest change of routine.
How can Autism patients be helped?

Supporting people with ASD begins at home, at school and at work by providing them with structure and safety. Below mentioned are some ways in which this can be done:

  • Enhance your knowledge :Knowledge is indeed the key! The more you try to gather information and learn about autism spectrum disorder, the better equipped you’ll be in supporting them.
  • Be ready for challenges : It might seem quite difficult at times, to deal with autistic They at times, have a hard time trying to explain what they’ve learned to others. For example, a child with ASD may use sign language to communicate at school, but never do so at home. So, it is extremely important to be consistent in the way you interact with the child and deal with challenging behaviors.
  • Sticking to a schedule: Children with ASD tend to do best when they have a highly-organized routine or schedule.
  • Rewards bring happiness : Praising them when they act appropriately or learn a new skill can go a long way with children with ASD.
  • Understand the unsaid : Observe the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when they’re hungry, tired, or want something.
Autism Management

Each child with ASD is unique and it must be understood that no single treatment works for everyone. A good treatment plan will

  • Target towards building the child’s interest.
  • Provide a consistent schedule.
  • Make sure to teach day to day tasks as series of simple steps
  • Offer regular reinforcement for good behavior
  • Involve the parents, guardians, teachers and caregivers.
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