When children are born, there are chances that some may have different disorders. These disorders may be passed from parents or maybe as a result of exposure to certain elements of the environment. Autism spectrum disorder is one of such conditions. It is a spectrum because of a wide range of symptoms, disability levels, and skills. Autism takes different forms in different people.
Autism has been described as a developmental disability because its effects are seen in the form of communication, interaction with others and behavior. The causes of autism cannot be pinpointed. However, the symptoms may vary from mild to severe cases.
Children start showing the signs of autism from as early as a month old. In other cases, normal development may be experienced for several years then start presenting symptoms of autism.
Signs and symptoms of autism
Infants and toddlers with Autism spectrum disorder normally exhibit certain behaviors. These behaviors are categorized into repetitive or restricted behaviors and interaction or social communication behaviors.
Repetitive or restricted behaviors
These include the following:
- The infants or toddlers tend to have an interest in certain things such as numbers, details etc. The interest will normally last for a very long time and is very intense.
- The person with ASD main remain focused on an activity for a long time. These activities may be things like a moving locomotive in a
- The infant or toddler may also show repetitive or unusual behaviors. The toddler may, for example, greet the same group of people over and over for a long time.
Interaction or social communication behaviors
These include but not limited to the following:
- There is difficulty to understand the reasoning of other people. They may also not be able to why other people are taking certain actions.
- The use of a tone which may be robot-like or flat or may appear as if they are singing. Their facial movements and expressions may not match what they are saying. They may also respond unusually when anger or affection is shown to them.
- The tendency to use words that are out of place or odd or words that can only be understood by those close to them.
- The ability to talk at length about a topic without giving others a chance to respond or notice that people are no longer interested in what they are saying.
- They tend to be upset when a routine they are used to is changed, there is a new setting. They are used to a certain way of doing things.
Apart from the behaviors above, people with autism tend to be very sensitive to temperature, clothing, noise and light. They also have digestion and sleep problems.
Abilities and strengths
All is not lost. People with autism learn and pay attention to details, they excel is sciences and mathematics and have their intelligence being above average.
Therapies and Treatments
If autism is diagnosed early and properly managed, the affected persons can be helped to cope with the behaviors and also learn other skills that suit their strengths. It should be noted that there is no single treatment for autism.