Autism Spectrum Disorder: ASD typically begins prior to the age of three and can remain the rest of a person’s life, despite the fact that its symptoms may get better over time. ASD symptoms can appear in some kids as early as their first year of life. For some individuals, symptoms might not appear until they are 24 months or older. Up until 18 to 24 months, some ASD children meet developmental milestones and acquire new skills; after that point, they stop or lose the skills they had before.
Teenagers and young adults with ASD may struggle to make and maintain friendships, communicate with peers and adults, or understand proper behavior in the workplace or at school. They may come to the attention of medical professionals if they also suffer from conditions like anxiety, depression, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which are more common in people with ASD than in people without ASD.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
ASD, a developmental disability brought on by variations in the brain, is on the autism spectrum. A genetic disorder, for example, is one difference some people living with ASD have. Other factors are still unknown. ASD may have several underlying causes that interact to alter how people typically develop. We still don’t know about these factors and how they affect people with ASD.
Most people do not behave, interact, communicate or learn in the same ways as people with ASD. Frequently, their appearance does not distinguish them from others. Individuals can have a broad spectrum of abilities. For instance, while some people living with ASD are nonverbal, others may have advanced conversational skills. Numerous people suffering with ASD require much assistance daily, while others can function independently and work.
Types of Autism Spectrum Disorder
In the world, there are four variations of autism disorder:
1. Autistic Disorder
This category covers the frequently observed signs of social and communication impairment. Children under the age of four are affected.
2. Asperger’s Syndrome
Cognitive impairment is not a problem for adults or children with Asperger’s syndrome. Compared to their peers, they typically achieve average or above-average results on tests and assignments. However, they struggle with social skills and only have a narrow range of interests.
3. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
These kids usually grow for about two years, at which point their interest wanes, and their rate of social and communication skill development slows significantly.
4. Pervasive Developmental Disorder
Children suffering from this type of Autism may delay communication and social skill development.
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Communication and social interaction issues and repetitive or limited behaviors or interests are common in people with ASD. Additionally, people who suffer with ASD may learn, move, or pay attention in different ways. These qualities can make life very difficult. It is significant to remember that some individuals without ASD may also experience some of the following symptoms.
1. Social Interaction and Communication Skills
For those with ASD, developing social communication and interaction skills can be complex. Following is a list of some of them:
- They avoid or refuse to look at one another.
- By the age of nine months, they do not reply back to names.
- For nine months, they don’t make any happy, sad, angry, or surprised facial expressions.
- By the year’s end, refrain from playing simple interactive games like pat-a-cake.
- Throughout the course of a year, shows little to no movement (for example, does not wave goodbye)
- Do not share interests with others after 15 months (for example, shows you an object that they like)
- By 18 months, it is not worthwhile to demonstrate anything captivating.
- By the age of 24 months, they do not recognise the suffering or annoyance experienced by others.
2. Repetitive or Restricted Nature or Interests
People with ASD sometimes exhibit unusual behaviours or interests. ASD differs from conditions only characterized by social interaction and communication issues by these behaviours or interests. Here are a few of the difficulties:
- Establishes a line of toys or other items and becomes enraged if the order is changed.
- Uses the same exact words or phrases repeatedly (echolalia).
- They always play with toys in the same way.
- They focus on the elements of the object.
- Disturbed by even minor changes.
- Obsessions are present.
- Must follow specific guidelines.
- Circling oneself, flapping hands, or rocking the body.
- Exhibits unusual responses to tastes, sounds, smells, sights, or feelings.
3. Some Other Characteristics
Most people with ASD also exhibit other similar traits. These could consist of the following:
- Delayed Movement and language skills
- Delayed abilities in learning or thinking
- Inattentive, impulsive, or hyperactive behaviour
- A seizure or epilepsy disorder
- Unusual patterns of eating and sleeping
- Digestive disorders (for example, constipation)
- Unusual emotional or mood swings
- Excessive worry, stress, or anxiety
- Lack of fear or unexpectedly high levels of fear
What is the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism is a diagnosis that can be challenging. A doctor will typically concentrate on the autism symptoms and signs listed above to make the following diagnoses of the patient or person who is concerned:
- The performance of Developmental screening is to assess behaviour, movement, learning, and speaking abilities.
- When a child reaches 18, 24, or 30 months, they should undergo a routine examination for autism symptoms and signs.
- Your child needs a thorough evaluation if they exhibit any of the warning signs mentioned above. We can use tests based on vision and genetics in these investigations.
- It is also possible to consult a psychologist to determine whether the child has schizophrenia or autism spectrum disorder.
Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is not a disease but a condition. Understanding these kids and attending to their psychological needs is crucial. Helping them emotionally will undoubtedly be beneficial. However, things could worsen if parents reject these kids because they can’t learn or communicate well. We need to show these kids more compassion as a society. The worst thing we could do would be to call them maniacs or insane and make fun of them. Parents should be honest with their children about their problems and offer emotional support. It won’t do them any good to stop letting them play with other kids and get upset with them because of their learning difficulties.
Additionally, feeling sorry for such kids is not the right thing to do. They must be handled similarly to other children, though. Parents and teachers must encourage their students’ interest in activities that promote psychological growth. Furthermore, it’s essential to realize that not all autistic children exhibit the same symptoms. Additionally, these kids’ rates of development can vary greatly. So, everyone who interacts with these kids—parents, siblings, teachers, etc.—must be more patient.
A fantastic statistic regarding Autism is that its prevalence has dramatically increased over the past 20 years. As per the World health organization autism affects one in 100 children and early childhood may allow for the detection of certain traits, however, autism is frequently not diagnosed until much later. We hope that you are fully informed about this condition in light of World Autism Awareness Day and that you will assist others in doing the same.
Do autistic children lack physical growth?
Yes, Children with Autism may not be as physically fit as typical children their age. Children with Autism may avoid participating in physical activities, especially involving other children. They can’t be as active and social as other kids can, and they don’t like to be loud. Because of this, they struggle to develop physically and often come off as weaker than others.