Autism, Its Causes and Symptoms

Autism disorder is a developmental disorder that usually appears during the first three years of life can last throughout a person’s life, but symptoms may improve over time. A child with autism appears to live in their own world and they show less interest in others and social activities. They usually behave different from others. As children with autism become adolescents and young, they may have difficulties to communicate with friends and others, or understanding what behaviors are expected in school or in the professional life. Children with autism have conditions such as anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorders.

Signs:

People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention. 

Symptoms:

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Lack of response to their name by 9-10 months of age
  • Does not show facial expression
  • Does not play simple games
  • Does not notice other children and join them in play by 36 months of age
  • Does not point to show you something interesting by 16-18 months of age
  • Doesn’t say single words by 16 months
  • Lack of interaction with other people
  • Uses no gestures like Hi and Bye
  • Repeats words again and again
  • Line up their toys and getting upset when order is changed
  • Delayed language skills
  • Delayed movement skills
  • Hyperactive
  • Lack of fear or more fear than expected
  • Unusual eating and sleeping habits
  • Unusual mood or emotional reactions
  • Anxiety, stress,
  • Excessive worry

Judgment:

Autism judgment can be difficult since there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorder. Doctors look at the child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis. Autism disorder can sometimes be detected at 18 months of age or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered reliable. However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until they are much older. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adolescents or adults. This delay means that people with autism disorder might not get the early help they need.

Causes

Autism spectrum disorder has no single known cause. Given the complexity of the disorder, and the fact that symptoms and severity vary, there are probably many causes. Both genetics and environment may play a role.

  • Genetics. Several different genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorder. For some children, autism spectrum disorder can be associated with a genetic disorder, such as Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome. For other children, genetic changes (mutations) may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder. Still other genes may affect brain development or the way that brain cells communicate, or they may determine the severity of symptoms. Some genetic mutations seem to be inherited, while others occur spontaneously.
  • Environmental factors. Researchers are currently exploring whether factors such as viral infections, medications or complications during pregnancy, or air pollutants play a role in triggering autism spectrum disorder.

Complications

Problems with social interactions, communication and behavior can lead to:

  • Problems in school and with successful learning
  • Employment problems
  • Inability to live independently
  • Social isolation
  • Stress within the family
  • Victimization and being bullied
  • Ignored by parents

Different Therapy:

  1. Behavior Therapy

In behavior therapy children focus on changing behaviors and start understanding what happens before and after the action or someone’s behavior. A noticeable behavioral treatment for people with ASD is called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA encourages desired behaviors and discourages undesired behaviors to improve a variety of skills.

  • Educational Therapy

Educational treatments are given in a classroom. Educational approach is the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACCH) approach. TEACCH is based on the idea that people with autism thrive on consistency and visual learning. It provides teachers with ways to adjust the classroom structure and improve academic and other their outcomes.

  • Development Therapy

Developmental therapy for people with ASD is Speech and Language Therapy. Speech and Language Therapy helps to improve the person’s understanding and use of speech and language. Some people with ASD communicate verbally. Others may communicate through the use of signs, gestures, pictures, or an electronic communication device.

  • Social Interaction Therapy

Social-relational treatments focus on improving social interactions and building emotional bonds. Some social-relational approaches involve parents or peer mentors

  • Psychological Therapy

Psychological approaches can help people with ASD cope with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one psychological approach that focuses on learning the connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

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