Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to the brain development problem impacting a person’s perception and socialisation ability. It also comprises of repetitive and limited behavioural pattern. As the name suggests, spectrum is variety in severity and symptoms. It involves the symptoms of separate condition- autism, Asperger’s syndrome.
It starts developing in childhood and affects the proper functional ability of the patient. Although no cure is still there yet early diagnosis and treatment can bring the big difference in the lives of a number of kids. Here, in this blog we will entail the important facts about this disorder. So read on to know them.
Some kids show up the symptoms in early infancy or some start developing it at the first few months of birth. But you need to wait for the signs that they will show before turning 2 such as loss of language skills, aggressiveness and withdrawn nature.
Each one of them will develop a severity level and behavioural pattern. Even some can have lower than basic intelligence whereas some get very high intelligence both of which make communication difficult for them in social situations.
As a result, it becomes really tough to understand that they develop this condition. Here we mention some signs that patients exhibit with the disorder.
Social interaction and communication
Any kids with the disorder will face the following communication and social interaction skills:
- Not responding or appearing not to listening to you
- Don’t want to be held or cuddled and want to play alone
- Lack of facial expression and degraded eye contact
- Delayed speed or don’t want to speak or lose the ability to say sentences and words
- Don’t converse or continue talking
- Speaks with unusual rhythm or tone usually robot-like or singsong
- Repeat phrases or words without understanding them
- Don’t want to understand simple directions or questions
- Don’t express feelings or emotions
- Don’t show any interest to any objects
- Inapt approaches of social interaction like disruptive, aggressive and passive
- Don’t recognise nonverbal cues and other’s facial expressions, tone, voice or body postures
Patterns of behaviour
Any kid with this disorder will have repetitive and limited behavioural patterns along with activities and interests. Some of them are:
- Repetitive movements like hand flapping, spinning and rocking
- Activities which lead to self-harm like head-banging or biting
- Get particular rituals or routine and gets disturbed with a little change
- Odd movement patterns and coordination problem like exaggerated body language, stiffness, walking on toes and clumsiness
- Fascinated by object details like spinning wheels of toy car without understanding the overall function or purpose of the objects
- Highly sensitive to touch, sound or light and indifferent to temperature or pain
- Never engages in make-believe or imitative play
- Fixing the activity or object with unusual focus or intensity
- Have particular food preferences
With aging and maturity, they become friendlier with others and exhibit minimum disturbances. As a result, they can start having near-to normal or normal lives. However, the problem will be still there with social or language skills.
Right time to visit a doctor
Remember, babies always develop at the own pace and the correct timeline is not available in any parenting book. But kids with the disorder can show up symptoms for delayed development before 2 years.
In case, you are suspecting this condition in the kids the consult with the doctor. It can link to any other developmental disorders. Apart from above symptoms you need to consult a doctor if the kid:
- Is not smiling within 6 months
- Doesn’t show any facial expression and mimic sounds within 9 months
- Is not babbling or cooing within a year
- Doesn’t show any gesture within 14 months
- Is not saying a word by 16 months
- Doesn’t play or pretend within 18 months
- Is not saying anything by 24 months
- Doesn’t develop social and language skills
There are multiple unknown causes of autism spectrum disorder. Considering its complexity and varying symptoms and intensity various causes can be there. Even environment and genetics have a pivotal role.
- Genetics- In the disorder, several genes will appear for involving to this disorder. Sometimes it takes place because of Rett Syndrome or fragile X syndrome. Mutation can also heighten the risk of getting this disorder. Some will affect the communication of brain cells and brain development based on the symptoms and their severity. Mutation may come as inheritance or it can take place abruptly too.
- Environmental Factors- Ongoing research is there to check if factors like medications, viral infections, air pollutants and complicated pregnancy trigger the disorder.
No connection between autism spectrum disorder and vaccines
The biggest controversy in autism is the link between the childhood vaccines and the disorder. Regardless the extensive research, no evidence is there showing link between these two. However, it is important to avoid the vaccinations which can put the kid at risk of getting and spreading severe diseases like mumps, measles and whooping cough (pertusis).
Every day the kids diagnosed with autism are increasing. It is really impossible to say if it is because of better reporting, detection or increase in the number of cases. It can affect the kids of all nationalities and races but several factors heighten the risk in kids and they are in the below:
- Sex of the kids- Boys are more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder over girls.
- Family history- If a family had any kids with autism then there is high risk to have other kids with the issue too. Even parents face certain problems with the communication and social skills
- Other disorders- Kids who have any health conditions are at more risk to develop this condition. Some of them are tuberous sclerosis, fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome.
- Preterm babies- If any baby comes to world 26 weeks before the gestation then it is more likely to get this disorder.
- Parents’ age- It is expected that there is a connection between the disorder and the child born to aged parents. However, more evidences are required to stand this point.
Problems with behaviour, communication and social interactions result in:
- Being bullied and victimisation
- Family stress
- Social isolation
- Unable to live independently
- Employment issues
- Problems in successful learning and schooling
No way is there for preventing autism spectrum disorder yet there are several treatment options. Remember early intervention and diagnosis can help in improving language, skills and behavioural development. It is really useful regardless of the age but kids cannot outgrow the symptoms, they just learn to function perfectly.
When you suspect this disorder in your kids it is better to visit the doctor without further delay. Early treatment can lead the patients to have a better and normal life. To know more visit Clinic Mantra.