Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention. It is important to note that some people without ASD might also have some of these symptoms. But for people with ASD, these characteristics can make life very challenging.
Autism spectrum disorder begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — socially, in school and at work, for example. Often children show symptoms of autism within the first year. A small number of children appear to develop normally in the first year, and then go through a period of regression between 18 and 24 months of age when they develop autism symptoms.
SOCIAL COMMUNICATION AND INTERACTION SKILLS
Social communication and interaction skills can be challenging for people with ASD.
Examples of social communication and social interaction characteristics related to ASD can include
People with ASD have behaviors or interests that can seem unusual. These behaviors or interests set ASD apart from conditions defined by problems with social communication and interaction only.
Examples of restricted or repetitive behaviors and interests related to ASD can include
Most people with ASD have other related characteristics. These might include
Autism spectrum disorder has no single known cause. Given the complexity of the disorder, and the fact that symptoms and severity vary, there are probably many causes. Both genetics and environment may play a role.
The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is rising. It's not clear whether this is due to better detection and reporting or a real increase in the number of cases, or both.
Autism spectrum disorder affects children of all races and nationalities, but certain factors increase a child's risk. These may include:
Problems with social interactions, communication and behavior can lead to:
There's no way to prevent autism spectrum disorder, but there are treatment options. Early diagnosis and intervention is most helpful and can improve behavior, skills and language development. However, intervention is helpful at any age. Though children usually don't outgrow autism spectrum disorder symptoms, they may learn to function well.
There are many types of treatments available. These treatments generally can be broken down into the following categories, although some treatments involve more than one approach:
Behavioral approaches focus on changing behaviors by understanding what happens before and after the behavior. Behavioral approaches have the most evidence for treating symptoms of ASD. They have become widely accepted among educators and healthcare professionals and are used in many schools and treatment clinics. A notable behavioral treatment for people with ASD is called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA encourages desired behaviors and discourages undesired behaviors to improve a variety of skills. Progress is tracked and measured.
Two ABA teaching styles are Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Pivotal Response Training (PRT).
Developmental approaches focus on improving specific developmental skills, such as language skills or physical skills, or a broader range of interconnected developmental abilities. Developmental approaches are often combined with behavioral approaches.
The most common developmental therapy for people with ASD is Speech and Language Therapy. Speech and Language Therapy helps to improve the person’s understanding and use of speech and language. Some people with ASD communicate verbally. Others may communicate through the use of signs, gestures, pictures, or an electronic communication device.
Occupational Therapy teaches skills that help the person live as independently as possible. Skills may include dressing, eating, bathing, and relating to people. Occupational therapy can also include:
The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is a broad developmental approach based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. It is used with children 12-48 months of age. Parents and therapists use play, social exchanges, and shared attention in natural settings to improve language, social, and learning skills.
Educational treatments are given in a classroom setting. One type of educational approach is the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACCH) approach. TEACCH is based on the idea that people with autism thrive on consistency and visual learning. It provides teachers with ways to adjust the classroom structure and improve academic and other outcomes. For example, daily routines can be written or drawn and placed in clear sight. Boundaries can be set around learning stations. Verbal instructions can be complimented with visual instructions or physical demonstrations.
Social-relational treatments focus on improving social skills and building emotional bonds. Some social-relational approaches involve parents or peer mentors.
Psychological approaches can help people with ASD cope with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one psychological approach that focuses on learning the connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. During CBT, a therapist and the individual work together to identify goals and then change how the person thinks about a situation to change how they react to the situation.
Things that can help you and your family
do not feel guilty for taking time for yourself when you can – even just going for a walk on your own can help give you a break
Talking to your child about autism
It's your choice when you want to tell your child about their autism.
Some parents do it straight away, while others wait until their child's a bit older. There's no right or wrong time.
When you tell your child, it may help to:
Food plays an important role in development of human beings. Following food may be of help-
Few of the homoeopathic listed below are helpful to prevent blindness or to treat autism spectrum disorder with favourable result, if taken according to the totality of symptoms. They are:
CARCINOSIN: History of cancer in the family. Desire for milk. Sweat on head. Desire for salty things. Restlessness. Talented , but are obsessive , compulsive , stubborn . Sleep related issues. Mental retardation. Hyperactivity. Attention deficit syndrome. Aversion to reprimand or contradiction. Fastidious. Loves the excitement of thunderstorms.
BARYTA CARBONICUM: Poor socialization, communication and language skills. Shyness is another leading symptom. Shy of strangers. Bashful. Timid. Cowardly. Hides behind the furniture and keeps the hands over the face , peeping through the fingers. Weak memory. Forgets her errand or word in her mouth.Childish and thoughtless behavior. Slow mental grasp and backward.
BELLADONNA: Hyperactivity, poor communication, echolalia . Self injurious behavior, biting, jumping etc. Constant moaning. Starts in fright at the approach of others. Spits on faces of other persons. Quarrelsome.
BUFO RANA: Handling of genitals and nervous agitation. The mind remains childish, only the body grows. Talks nonsense , then angry, if not understood. Propensity to bite. Howling , impatient, nervous, imbecility.
CALCAREA PHOSPHORICUM: Hyperactivity behavior with stereotypy. Excitable nervous and sleepless. Talks rapidly and easily angered.
COFFEA: Sleep dysfunction, especially late sleeping. Nervous agitation. Cry and laugh easily.
HYOSCYAMUS NIGER: Eating or drinking dysfunction, escaping , running , jumping , foolish laughter . Inclined to laugh at everything. Very suspicious. Plays with fingers.
KALI BROMATUM: Hyperactivity and short attention span. Fidgety, busy hands, fumbles. Moves arms about widely. Omits or mixes up words in talking and writing.
KALI PHOSPHORICUM: Nervous agitation leading to sleep deprivation. Children cry and screams. Shy. Indisposition to meet people.
PHOSPHORUS: Audio visual sensitivities . Unnatural fears , especially dark, desire to be hugged, pressurized ,flapping of fingers. Oversensitive to external impressions. Desires ice creams and cold drinks.
SILICEA : Pica. Difficulty for eye to eye contact. Nervous, excitable. Sensitive to all impressions. Screaming violently. Starts from slight noise.
SULPHUR: Poor bowel control, lack of communication, lethargy, laziness. Dull, difficult, thinking , misplaces or cannot find proper words when talking or writing. Aversion to being washed. Restless, kick off the clothes at night. Stoop shouldered.
VERATRUM ALB.: Hyperactivity and produce vague humming sound. Howling all night.