Autism is characterized by a wide range of symptoms in which a child or person faces trouble in communication. They can feel trouble understanding other people’s feelings and emotions. They cant expresses themselves. They can feel learning disabilities. Autism is a spectrum based condition. Persons and children can lie anywhere in this spectrum. They can show mild to severe symptoms of autism.
Autism is a lifelong condition. It has no cure unfortunately but we can manage autism by behavioral modification and therapies. Autistic children are not mentally challenged. They learn in a different way than other normal people do.
Sometimes children with autism can be blessed with some unusual skill. Since they like repetitiveness, so once they start liking some subject, they can exhibit excellent performance. They can be very good at art, science, math, music, etc. Worlds famous celebrities, Einstein, Beethoven, Charles Darwin, and many more were actually autistic.
- Lacking eye contact.
- Showing no response when called by their name.
- Not listening to other people.
- Problems in concentrating on pointed objects.
- Repetitive behaviors like repeating some phrases, or word or some task, making lines from toys or spinning.
- Hand flapping can also be a sign of autism.
- Headbanging or other self-harming activity during anxiety.
- Difficulty continuing conversation.
- Talking about the topic of their interest without knowing that other people are interested or not.
- Flat robotic voice tone, Voice can be like a sing-song.
- They feel difficulty in understanding other people’s feelings.
- Sometimes they don’t want to be cuddled.
- Repeat words or phrases. This condition is called echolalia.
- React adversely when something is changed in their routine or environment.
- They can have intense or less five senses and can feel irritated by light, touch, or smell. They can hold their ears because of loud noises.
- They can feel difficulty in expressing their needs through words, or expressions.
- They may forget words or phrases once they learned.
Autism Causes :
There is no single evidence what causes autism but scientists have found certain factors that involve in developing this disorder :
- Autism can be genetically transferred.
- Early exposure to gadgets can also cause autism.
- Children who have autistic siblings are more prone to develop autism.
- Children born to older parents can have chances to develop this disorder.
- The dose of valproic acid and thalidomide during pregnancy can also cause autism in children.
- People who have fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis have more chances to be autistic.
There is no cure for autism unfortunately but different therapies are used to make children function normally. If your child shows any symptoms, consult your doctor. They will suggest different therapies according to the needs of the child.
1 Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA):
ABA therapy is used by therapists on autistic children. Children can learn new skills, improve social interactions, and maintain positive behavior through this model. Each autistic child has specific needs. For example, one child can lack more social skills and other children can have more difficulties in learning new skills.
The therapist assesses each child’s different needs and will apply different techniques according to their needs. During this process therapist assess required behavior, set goals, apply ABA techniques, and measure performance. Different techniques are used by therapists like positive reinforcement( rewarding for certain behavior), negative reinforcement (punishment for certain types of behaviors), prompting and fading, task analysis, generalization, etc. The therapist will suggest a combination of different techniques for a particular child according to his or her needs. Search a qualified ABA therapist in your area to help you.
Occupational therapy is a holistic approach to the treatment of autism. Occupational therapist work on these areas:
- Environment interaction
- Sensory integration
- Using bathrooms
- Motor skills like writing, cutting, coloring.
Speech and Language Therapy:
Speech and language therapy is performed by Speech-Language Pathologist ( SLP). Speech-language pathologists assess speech requirements of the child , his strengths and weakness, and set individual goals for each child. A speech-language pathologist may perform the following tasks:
- He strengthens weak muscles of neck , mouth and jaw.
- He makes sounds clear.
- He helps child in understanding body language.
- He teaches child to match emotions with facial expressions.
- He helps child to match picture with meaning.
- He may teach child to use iPad apps to communicate.
Autism Meltdowns :
Sometimes due to anxiety, sensory differences, communications problems, or any change in routine can disturb a child and he or she may shout, scream or cry. This is called a meltdown. When environmental information is overloaded child may feel anxiety. Don’t judge the child in this situation because it is not in his control. Try to calm them. Give them some time. They need time to recover form the situation. Turn off loud noises and also turn down bright lights. Make a place safe and quite.