Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder, people and children with autism lack skills in communicating (talking) and socialization (relating to others). They will usually repeat the things that they do which results in repetitive behaviour and they like certain things and only want those certain things. Autism can be seen in all races, ethnics and social groups around the world, but will be seen 4 times more often in boys than girls. Children with autism have a hard time making sense or understanding the world around them. This could be when someone smiles, we know that they are friendly, but a child with autism cannot see or feel that from a smile. Another example is when we point at a plane in the sky, and said "look there's a plane, do you see it?" an autistic child will look at your finger thats pointing, not the plane you are pointing at.

The causes of autism are still unknown and being researched. Although some researchers think that it is caused by unstable genes that create abnormalities in the way the brain is made up and the way that it works. People are born with autism, you cannot catch and it is a livelong disorder, but with the right treatment your child can learn to live a full healthy productive life.

As parents you can usually sense that your child is missing something, especially if you had children before. If you sense that something may be wrong or different about your child please go see a doctor, or go to the clinic and tell them about your concerns. Some of these symptoms can be seen in early childhood (24 months and 6years old). Here is a list of some early signs and symptoms.

            the child doesn’t look into your eyes or barely looks into your eyes-the child
              doesn’t respond to yours or other people’s expressions like some kids will laugh 
              when they hear you laugh, autistic children will not do that
             the child seems to be alone, they go into a room and close the door, so it’s like 
              they do not want anyone around
            
they may push you away when you want to hug or kiss them, or cuddle them
            
they do not play with others
            
they will act like they don’t hear you, even if you use their name
            •
they may not talk or be behind in their speech
            
they are unable to tell you what they want or need, so they may take your hand 
              to what they need/want
            
they may continuously repeat what you say, so you cannot have a conversation 
              with them, like you ask them “are you ok”? and the child will keep saying “are 
              you ok”? “are you ok”?
            
they may have a routine that they do everyday, like running up and down the 
              hallway before bedtime
            •
they may rock back and fourth
            
they may focus on one part of a toy, like the spinning wheel of the toy car
            
may not have normal eating or sleeping habits
            
they may be full of energy, or not have enough energy
            •
they may get attached to objects, that they shouldn’t like a fork
            •
they have tantrums, because they cannot express what they want/need
            
they do not see dangerous situations, like running across the road and not even 
              looking if there is any traffic

Autism cannot be cured or prevented, but it can be treated. A child can be treated educationally, biologically, with speech therapy and communication techniques. Educationally a child can be treated with ABA (applied behaviour analysis). ABA is a system that supports, teaches and reinforces skills like talking, reading, writing, social skills and adaptive living skills. Adaptive living skills are like when the child can go to the washroom on their own, getting themselves dressed, brushing their teeth etc.
Biologically is changing what the child eats, taking vitamins and in some situations there may be medicine. But before changing your child’s diet talk to your doctor and nutritionist, just to make sure your child will continue with a healthy diet. The child may also need a speech therapist, as to learn some diiferent communication skills. This could be sign lanuage or using pictures to talk to your child.

Autism falls under the autism spectrum disorder, which means there are different levels of autism. It can range from mild to serve autism. The only way to know if your child has autism and at what level your child has is for your child to be assessed by a multidisciplinary team.



 

Website Bibliography/References

Autism” emedicinehealth
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/autism/page2_em.htm#Autism Causes  (17 Aug 2010)

 “Autism” Kids’ Health
http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetailsKids.aspx?p=335&np=282&id=2305#1  (17 Aug 2010)

“Autism” Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism  (19 Aug 2010)

“What Causes Autism” Autism Society of America
http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatcauses
  (20 Aug 2010)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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