Mental HealthPediatrics

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a group of developmental disorders that involve challenges with social skills, nonverbal communication and repetitive behavior.

 

It is called ‘spectrum’ since it entails a wide range of conditions acquired by a person with ASD.

 

The signs of autism appears between two to three years of age. In other cases, young children are diagnosed as early as 18 months, lasting throughout a person’s life.

 

You may know someone, a friend or a family member with autism. You notice their lack of interactive skills.

 

Some of them have constant social problems, limited interests and doing the same type of behavior repetitively.

 

You probably also have observed their inability to function socially whether at home, school or work.

 

Children with ASD may lack mindfulness of their surroundings and interest in other children. They are often found isolated, and they tend to play alone.

 

Cause of Autism

 

The precise cause of ASD is unknown, but it is believed that complex environmental and genetic factors are involved. Other possible triggers are premature birth and alcohol exposure during a mother’s pregnancy.

 

Symptoms of Autism

 

  • Delayed language development

 

  • Difficulty understanding other people’s emotions or feelings

 

  • Uses body language or facial expressions most of the time

 

  • Small changes in the environment triggers tantrums

 

  • Repetitive activity

 

  • Serious learning difficulties

 

  • Unresponsive to their name by 12 months of age

 

  • Rocking of body and flapping of hands

 

Diagnosing Autism

 

Children are diagnosed by the age of two. Doctors evaluate a child’s behavior and development through comprehensive testing.

 

Older children and teenagers are evaluated for ASD when a teacher or parent notice problems on a child’s ability to communicate and socialize.

 

Therapy for Autism

To reduce a child’s difficulty during the development period, it is necessary to get early treatment and proper care.

 

Work closely with a health care specialist to get advice on the right treatment program.

 

Talk with a pediatrician and find an autism expert who can help create goals and intervention for the child.

 

Search for an autism support group. Share relevant experiences and information with other caregivers.

 

Learn more about your options and improve your process of decision-making.

 

Currently, there is no specific treatment for ASD. Behavioral and communication therapy are used for the child to grow and learn new skills.

 

Medications are used to control symptoms.

 

If you have a child or if you’re caring for someone showing signs of autism, see a health care provider to check the child’s development.

 

They need a comprehensive evaluation by  a specialist for diagnosis and intervention.

 

For other medical writing services, find out HERE.

References:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institute of Mental Health

 

Disclaimer:

The content of this article is not intended to treat a disease/illness or provide medical advise. Kindly see a qualified doctor or healthcare professional for proper medical treatment and prescription.

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