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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be described as a complex neurobehavioral disorder that involves impairment in social interaction, developmental language, and communication skills. Autism involves a spectrum of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairments. Autism children often have persistent problem with their communication. These children have problems understanding what other people think and feel about them, and they also find it absolutely difficult to express themselves through skills such as facial expressions, gestures, or through words. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) 1 out of 88 kids suffer from autism.
ASD is noticed during the first three years of a kid's life. There are autism children who show some of these symptoms immediately after birth while there are kids who display these symptoms when they are 18-36 months old. ASD is four times more prevalent with boys than girls and the parents' educational level, lifestyle, and family income do not affect a kid's chances of being autistic.
At the onset of ASD a child begins to display his/her own unique pattern of behavior. Other notable symptoms include a kid's delay from birth, losing language skills, or other unusual behaviors such as lining up toys.
Often parents are the first person to notice these unusual behavior, unfortunately, most parents spend a lot of time before they raise their concerns with a doctor. Some of the red flags to watch for include:
- Lack of any form of pretend play by 18 months
- No single two-word phrases by 24 months
- Not responding to their name by 12 months
- No pointing or gestures by 12 months
Autism Diagnosis and Treatment
ASD does not have its own specific test and it is therefore advisable to obtain diagnosis from a physician who is specialized in developmental disabilities. This particular diagnosis is conducted by factoring the kid's medical and behavioral history and also ruling out any other complication that relate to the symptoms displayed. This implies that precautions should be thoroughly observed so that ASD is distinguished from other disorders.
There is no single autism treatment but treatment can be administered through an individualized program focusing on behavior modification and skills development. Some of ASD treatment goals include:
- Stopping inappropriate behaviors and helping him/her improve on their relationship with other children
- Teaching the child self care skills
- Improving their communication skills
- Teaching parents how to enhance social experiences for the child
The main cause of ASD is still unknown but there are research scientists who believe that 90% of autism cases are related to genetics. There are also other rare cases such as chemical exposure and birth related defects. In order to lessen the risk of your child obtaining ASD, a parent should avoid consuming drugs not approved by a physician. Pregnant women should also avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
There are also several risk factors and characteristics associated with autism, including:
- Parents with autism children also have another 18-25% chance of giving birth to a second child suffering from Autism
- Autism tends to occur to children from certain genetic condition, and to be specific 10% of autistic children are also identified to have tuberous sclerosis, fragile X syndrome, or down syndromes.
In order to obtain more information get the "Essential Guide to Autism" that provides a better understanding of the disorder and treatment for the individual, parents and caregivers.