Autism is a complex neurobehavioral disorder, causing the problems in social interaction in the development of language skills and communication, combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. It is a developmental disability.
Because of the range of symptoms, the condition is called the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The severity of autism varies widely and often ranges on the border of disability, which places some limits on a regular life. There are also cases of devastating disability that may require institutional care.
The causes of autism
This is a disease that can have many sources, among which are mentioned genetic factors. The condition often occurs in the nearest family. Thus it is considered that it can be passed on genetically. Certain gene combinations may, therefore, predispose a child to autism. There are, however, other factors that increase the risk of having a child with autism:
- Severe infections that affect the brain as meningitis, celiac disease, encephalitis, etc.
- Exposure to toxins, abuse of alcohol and other drugs, metabolic disorders, or a history of other diseases during pregnancy such as rubella.
- The advanced age of the mother or the father also increases the risk of disorders in children.
Therefore there is no single precise reason for the appearance the disorder. However, studies suggest that the disease occurs through certain disturbances in of the brain.
People with autism have problems with communication, understanding feelings and reasoning of others. Very often they express themselves through single words, gestures, facial expressions, and touch. These are an extremely sensitive person. For them, sounds, touch, smells and different impressions that seem reasonable to others, can cause pain.
Autistic people may have some repetitive stereotyped body movements as swaying, hand flapping. Can appear in them unusual responses to people, places, changes in their environment. Sometimes they seem not to notice other people, objects or activities in the surrounding. Some patients appear convulsions. In some cases, symptoms do not occur until puberty.
People with autism can suffer cognitive function to some degree. They may have problems in some areas – especially regarding communication and relationships with people. Autistic, often have a very developed skills in other regions as drawing, creating music, solving math problems and memorizing facts. Not infrequently, they can behoove in non-verbal intelligence tests on medium or higher than the average level.
The symptoms of autism usually appear within the first three years of life; there are also cases in which the from birth may be diagnosed the disorder. Sometimes children develop quite regularly to between the 18 and 38 months of age, show a sudden change. What is interesting, autism affects four times as frequently boys than girls.
- the difficulty of establishing and maintaining friendships,
- problems with understanding the feelings of others,
- lack of understanding of words and gestures, as well as harder to use them,
- repetition of heard words – echolalia,
- temper tantrums,
- movements of the head, hands, rocking,
- stress caused by certain sounds,
- limited and usually unusual interest, e.g., one part of the toy or thread.
Diagnosis and treatment of autism
Alarming symptoms are best to consult with specialists, as there are many ways to research and assessment of developmental problems in children.
So far there is no cure for autism. In some cases, may help drugs and certain dietary constraints which inhibit some of the symptoms. It is important to start treatment as early as possible, as it can help an autistic child to learn of certain social behaviors, communication, language or some standards of behavior. The appropriate plan of treatment allows the child and the family find themselves in the difficult situation. In children with autism, it is crucial the exclusion of hearing loss.