A to Z about Autism in children and management options
17 Aug 2016
WHAT IS AUTISM
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Its main features are impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Signs usually become evident in the first two years. The signs gradually move towards severity starting from minor difficulties. There are cases in which children hot all the developmental milestones (Speaking, walking, gaining height, executive skills, etc) but will eventually regress to behaviours pertaining to younger age group. For Autism to be diagnosed symptoms become clearly visible in early childhood, usually before the age of three. This makes early intervention highly important and a crucial part. Starting with effective measures to help the child work on the deficits will show wonderful results at an early age and the brain is still developing. The early the child is identified; the early the intervention program will begin thereby helping the child achieve the milestones with ease. Early intervention will also help the child learn self-help skills, social, and communication skills. Although, Autism; being the pervasive developmental disorder has no known cure in particular. There are remediation that can be taken up to make them close to a fully functioning individual.
Autism is estimated to affect 21.7 million people as of 2013. Boy- girl ratio with respect to occurrence is 5:1.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Visible symptoms gradually begin after six months. There is no one particular symptom that characterizes Autism. There is an array of areas that are impaired and is most [redominant aspects that are impacted in a child are impairments in social interaction; impairments in communication; and restricted interests and repetitive behavior.
I) Social development
Children with autism have social impairments. They fail to express themselves and may have limited speech too depending on the level of autism. They are often misunderstood as highly volatile and erratic kids. They are unable to make an eye contact with individuals and have a preference for solitary work and play.
Infants depict peculiar signs too. They show less attention to social stimuli, rarely smile and look at others and rate of response to their own name is missing. They have poor eye contact. They are unable to use simple gestures to express themselves, like pointing at things.
Three- to five-year-old children with autism are less likely to demonstrate social understanding, imitate and respond to emotions and communicate nonverbally. However, they do have a tendency to establish attachments with their primary caregivers.
Children with autism often are unable to develop required amount of speech. Noticeable deficits in speech are present from the first year. It can also include delayed onset of babbling, unusual gestures and non existent responsiveness. By the age of 2-3 children start using consonants and phrases; though there is an evident mismatch between their gestures and the words. They are less likely to make requests or share experiences, and are more likely to simply repeat what others say. They exhibit difficulty in joint attention and make believe play.
III) Repetitive behavior
Children with autism display many forms of repetitive or restricted behaviour.
Repetitive movements may include actions such as hand flapping, head rolling, or body rocking.
They also exhibit Compulsive tendencies like following a fixed routine and pattern. Counting things, aligning things, organizing and an increased need to be systematic with less or no changes. They have an undying desire for pattern of daily activities, such as an unchanging menu or a dressing ritual. They face problems with level of focus, interest in a particular activity are prone to self-injuries often caused by eye-poking, skin-picking, hand-biting and head-banging.
Majority of parents notice unusual behaviour in their kids by 18 months. Delay in testing may delay early diagnosis and treatment thereby affecting in the long run with more severe and permanent damages. A quick way of screening you child for the symptoms is given below:
· No babbling by 12 months.
· No gesturing (pointing, waving, etc.) by 12 months.
· No single words by 16 months.
· No two-word or phrases by 24 months.
· Any loss of any language or social skills, at any age.
The main goals when treating children with autism are to lessen associated deficits and family distress, and to increase quality of life and functional independence.
Families and the educational system are the main resources for treatment. Here at Epsyclinic via online video sessions with leading experts on autism from around the world, we train the parent of children with Autism and will psycho-educate them about the same. The implications, the reason, the causes and most importantly how they should and can deal with the deficits exhibited by their children.
There is no cure for this but there are excellent ways of helping the child cope with the aspects where he is evidently lacking. Intensive and sustained special education programs and behavior therapy early in life can help children acquire self-care skills, social skills and communication skills. Improvement of functioning in these areas will have a direct impact on the well being of the child and the family.
There will be a tremendous decrease in the severity of the symptoms maladaptive behaviour.
Our online portal is well equipped with the behavioural contingencies that need to be adopted.
Along with the parent who have been made aware and a well trained team of psychologists, together the family, the child and the psychologist can work towards accomplishing short term goals.
Interventions include applied behavior analysis (ABA), developmental models, structured teaching, speech and language therapy, social skills therapy, and occupational therapy.
These interventions will help focus on a specific area of deficit depending on the need of the child, severity of the symptoms and comfort of the parent.
Working with an child is a life long process anyways and this is more so true in case of children with autism.
We at Epsyclinic do not believe in sole dependence on the psychologist. For this purpose, the parents will be trained by our learned team with respect to how to interact with the child, how to work on his long term development, how to enhance his expression of emotions, etc. We here work as a family and as a team.
A lot of cooperation and compassion will be essential from the family’s side too. It will become crucial and important for the parent s to not miss out on the sessions and be as open and frank about the case history and concerns of the child. The short term goals and the weekly tasks that will be assigned would have to be accomplished and worked up on in order to see a visible improvement in the child.
If as a parent you suspect your child may be displaying symptoms of autism and you need to discuss this or you need help in structuring management for your child such that he/she reaches his/her best potential, then get help at ePsyClinic.com Now!
Just Click the pink chat button and Type "Autism Help" to connect with a child psychologist who will explain you about the process and charges.
Tags: #Autism #early signs #intervention and help