Autism occurs due to neurological disorder and affects the brain and there by the development of the child.
The exact reason for autism is yet to be discovered but some believe some genetic factors and some chemicals changes in the brain may be the reason. Others believe it may be a reaction due to MMR vaccine but this yet to be proved. The reason behind the theory is that the autism is visible only around the time MMR is administered. Generally, autistic kids exhibits normal growth till the age of two and after that there is retardation in growth in socializing and speech.
Who can get affected ?
Children in the age group of 18 months to 3 years are most susceptible to autism. Studies have indicated that boys run a higher risk than girls. It’s not a very common as only one in five hundred get affected.
It’s hard to predict which child will get autism but there are a few symptoms to look for in the infant:
- Babies that like to cuddled or carried
- Don’t like being rocked or any repetitive movement
- Cannot judge when the carer might pick them up
- Head banging
Signs of Autism in children around 18 months
- Doesn’t bother to look in the direction or the object pointed to
- Doesn’t play pretend games
- Doesn’t try to get the attention of others by pointing to interesting stuffs
- No babbling and hand gestures even by 12 months
- Forgets previously acquired skills
- Does speak single word by 16 months and not a single two word phrase by two years
- Doesn’t mingle with others
- Very sensitive to light, sound and smell
- Don’t indulge in pretend or make believe games
- Doesn’t communicate properly
- Averse to change and would want to stay in a structured environment
- Avoids eye contact
- Obsession to certain emotions or objects
If the first signs are exhibited then the child runs 80% risk of autism.
These are the common symptoms of autism. These suggest autism but don’t confirm it. It can be confirmed only after through medical examination.
Autism Treatment and Cure
There is no cure to this. Only the children can be treated to reach their full potential. They are put through therapies which revolve around speech and language in a child friendly way. Sometimes dietary changes and medications are suggested.
Is it same as mental retardation?
Mentally retarded kids would be mentally and physically underdeveloped. But autism affects only the socializing abilities and speech and not physical growth.
Future of children with autism
When they grow up they can live on their own or be part of a group. They can take up repetitive and/or structured jobs. They can be thought necessary skills of life like shopping, cooking and cleaning at early stages of life.
Parents don’t ignore first signs of autism and start the therapies at the earliest.