What is Autism? Its Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Home » Autism
Garry Stewart
Written By Ken Maus

November 21, 2022

Autism

Autism is a medical condition associated with brain development, which impacts how a person socializes or perceives others.

This leads to issues in communication and social interaction.

This generally begins in childhood and eventually leads to issues functioning in society.

Autism Disorder is the one that impacts the nervous system and leads to affecting the overall emotional, cognitive, physical and social health of the person with the disease.

Symptoms of Autism

Several children show the signs of disease in their early infancy, like lack of response, reduced eye contact, and many more.

While other children may generally grow for the initial few months and then suddenly become aggressive or withdrawn.

The signs of the disorder are generally seen by the age of 2 years.

Each kid with the disease will likely have a unique severity level and behavior pattern.

Common signs showed by people with the disease

1. Social interaction and communication

A person with a disease may have issues with the social communication and interaction skills, including:

  • Failing to respond.
  • Resists holding or cuddling
  • Seems to prefer to play alone
  • Lack of facial expression
  • Poor eye contact
  • Do not speak much
  • Speaks with an abnormal tone
  • Cannot initiate a conversation
  • Repeats the phrases or words
  • Doesn’t understand simple questions
  • Doesn’t express emotions
  • Difficult recognizing nonverbal cues

2. Behavior Patterns

  • Performs activities that may lead to self-harm
  • Performs repetitive movements
  • Develops particular routines
  • Have coordination issues
  • Are fascinated by an object’s details
  • Sensitive to light
  • Have particular food preferences

When do you need to see a doctor?

Children with the disease generally show signs of delayed development before the age of 2 years. If such a scenario happens, visit the doctor immediately.

However, here are a few earlier indications to visit a doctor

  • Go to the doctor immediately if your child
  • Doesn’t show a happy expression for six months
  • Doesn’t show facial expressions or mimicked sounds for nine months
  • Doesn’t gesture by 14 months
  • Doesn’t say a single word for 16 months

Causes of Autism

There is no single cause of the disease. Since the symptoms, severity, and complexity varies, the condition may be caused by many reasons. Some may include:

  • Genetic
    Some different genes are involved in the appearance of the disease. Genes may affect the way brain cells communicate, affect brain development, or even determine the severity of the symptoms.
  • Environmental factors
    Researchers are exploring the possibility of whether the factors like medications, complications, or viral infections play a role in triggering the disease.

Risk factors involved!

Since the number of cases of the disease is increasing. Autism affects children of all nationalities or races; however, several may be at an increased risk. This may include:

  • Family history
  • Child sex
  • Other medical conditions
  • Parents ages
  • Extremely preterm babies

Complications involved!

Issues associated with the communication, behavior, and social interactions lead to:

  • Issues in school
  • Inability to live independently
  • Employment issues
  • Social isolation
  • Victimization
  • Stress within the family

Diagnosis of Autism

The doctor will look for the developmental delays in the child at regular checkups.
If the child indicates any disorder symptoms, you are likely to be referred to a specialist doctor who treats it all.

Since the disease varies in severity and symptoms, making the diagnosis can be difficult. A single test won’t determine the disorder, but the doctors may

  • Observe the child and ask how the child interacts, communicates, or analyzes their skills or behavior.
  • Recommends the tests covering speech, language, hearing, behavioral and social issues
  • Use the criteria in DSM-5.
  • Present the communication interactions and structured social interactions to the child
  • Include another specialist in determining the disease

Treatment of Autism

There is no cure for the disease. And since symptoms and severity vary from person to person, the treatment includes no one size fits all rule.

The goal is only to maximize the child’s ability to reduce the severity of the symptoms.

The treatments may include:

  • Educational therapies
  • Communication and behavior therapies
  • Medications
  • Family therapies
  • Other therapies

Bottom Line!

Since the medical condition is more inclined to manage the symptoms and their severity only, it is good to visit the doctor immediately to handle everything at an early age.

Medical doctors are the only concerned persons who can help.

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