Autism Spectrum Disorder

The kids with autism have the range of symptoms a "spectrum."

1. Autism 2.Asperger syndrome 3. Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) are conditions that fall within the autism spectrum.

Signs/symptoms of autism are usually recognizable by 2 or 3 years of age, they are usually not recognized early. Formal autism screening can begin as early as 16 months of age.

1. Language delay-delayed speech, incoherent speech, poor reciprocation, echolalia-repetition of words. Not using or understanding language as a child that age typically would.

2. Poor communication and problems in socialization, poor eye contact- Has little or brief eye contact with others. Not pointing to objects to call attention to them.

3. Repetitive behaviors-such as stereotypic hand movements, head nodding, unusual or repetitive movements, such as hand flapping, spinning, or tapping. Playing with a toy, that seems odd or repetitive.

4. Difficulties learning in school. Trouble interacting, playing with, or relating to others, not exploring surroundings with curiosity or interest (a child seeming to be in his or her "own world")

These children need evaluation by a doctor with a team effort of expertise in developmental disorders, such as a developmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, pediatric psychologist, or child psychiatrist, physiotherapist and occupational therapist.

Cause: Causes of autism are not yet fully understood, but scientists believe that genetic predisposition and environmental factors are involved. This does not mean it is genetic or inherited disease.

Treatment: Although there's no cure for autism, and there is no medicine for the disease.

Early intervention and therapy can help kids develop skills and achieve their best potential. Therapy is tailored to each child's individual needs and may include

1. Behavioral, educational therapy

2. Sensory integration therapy

3. speech therapy

4. Medications –to treat aggression toward oneself or others, problems of inattention, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and mood swings.


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