How many of us know about autism????
A 2-year-old kid unable to talk or interact properly compare to the children of its own age.
Many people will take this normal. Few will also link it genetically.
But is it the right thing to do so???
Is it the normal development of the child???
If a child is showing some sort of behavioral abnormality or having problems in social interaction he can be autistic.
What is autism????
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by troubles with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Signs are usually observed in the first two or three years of child’s life. These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then worsen.
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association included four previously diagnoses under the one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These included autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
Causes of Autism:
Autism is the combined effect of environmental and genetic factors.
Autistic individuals can display many forms of repetitive or restricted bbehavior which the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R) categorizes as follows.
- Rubella (German measles) in the pregnant mother.
- Tuberous sclerosis (a rare genetic disorder that causes benign tumours to grow in the brain as well as in other vital organs).
- Fragile X syndrome (the most common inherited form of intellectual disability).
- Encephalitis (brain inflammation).
- Untreated phenylketonuria (PKU) – when the body lacks an enzyme needed for normal metabolism.
Other than above genetic factors there are several environmental toxins such as pesticides and heavy metals which can infect the child in the womb.
About half of the children are diagnosed by their unusual behaviour. These observations are done up to 18 months. It includes:
- No babbling by 12 months.
- No gesturing (pointing, waving, etc.) by 12 months.
- No single words by 16 months.
- No two-word (spontaneous, not just echolalic) phrases by 24 months.
- Any loss of any language or social skills, at any age.
Besides these conditions, there are genetic disorders which are associated with the autistic children such as:
- Genetic disorders. About 10–15% of autism cases have an identifiable Mendelian (single-gene) condition, chromosome abnormality, or other genetic syndrome.
- Intellectual disability. The percentage of autistic individuals who also meet criteria for intellectual disability has been reported as anywhere from 25% to 70%, a wide variation illustrating the difficulty of assessing the intelligence of individuals on the autism spectrum.
- Anxiety disorders are common among children with autism.
- Epilepsy, with variations in risk of epilepsy due to age, cognitive level, and type of language disorder.
There are vaccines against rubella during pregnancy can prevent autism.
Beside this, there are several behavioural and speech therapies which are given to the autistic child. In minor cases, it has been found preventive.
It is very necessary that parents should be well aware of autism so that at the initial phase only they can provide the proper treatment to their child.
Education and society culture play a vital role. It is important that society should accept the autistic child. They should be provided with their comfort zone. In spite of ignoring or making fun of this abnormality, one should try to acquaint themselves with this special ability of the children.