We often hear about people, especially children, who are autistic and yet this is a condition rarely well understood. Most of us only have a general idea of what Autism is and only a few truly realize the limitations that a child and the family have to face due to this disorder.
Autism is actually an umbrella term that is used to describe an array of conditions that affect and hamper an individual’s ability to communicate and interact. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a severe developmental disorder that causes a person to face a combination of different conditional challenges with respect to social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
There are many different types of Autism and as a result, the disorder creates a wide variation in the strengths, as well as challenges that one autistic child/person faces; vis-à-vis the other. It therefore, brings to fore unique strengths and differences in every affected person.
These signs might not always indicate towards autism, but there is no harm in getting a check-up done to rule it out. Developmental milestones are always a good indicator of a child’s health. If the baby is showing either of these signs with respect to developmental milestones, then consulting the pediatrician should be the first and foremost consideration.
Until recently, it was believed that Autism is caused by genetic factors but latest research points towards certain ‘environmental factors’ which may increase the risk of Autism in a baby who is genetically predisposed to the disorder.
No blood test, brain scan, or physical test can diagnose Autism. It can solely be determined by observing the behavior of the child.
If you feel that a child is displaying any of the above symptoms, it is best to take medical help. Usually doctors give the parents a questionnaire to fill out. It is a quick checklist of yes-or-no answers. It helps in forming a feedback of the child’s behavior. A pediatrician or a psychologist conducts it to help go through an initial screening of any child with symptoms of ASD.
This can be considered as the next step if the child is diagnosed with Autism in screening. Any specialist does not consider screening as the whole-sole basis of diagnosing autistic behavior. That is why the specialist on a one-on-one basis to conclude conducts few more tests.
Some repetitive behaviors observed in autistic children
Several therapies are provided to the Autistic children and their families to handle the situation in mature way and to help the child and the family cope up with the symptoms and changes.
Science and technology have reached a benchmark stage in today’s era. Nothing is impossible and incurable. But the key to the entire problem lies in accepting the fact that there is a problem that needs attention. We should always remember that the children diagnosed with Autism are not disabled; they are specially-abled and just need a little bit of extra care, love and help to lead a near normal life.
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