What is Autism?

Life sounds and feels nice only when it occurs with no inconveniencing factors. All parents try their best ensuring their kids find the very best environment to live and operate in. However, illnesses among other life-disrupting factors tend to disrupt the entire scheme. A common mental disorder among children, Autism is just one of them. 

What is Autism?

The illness defines a range of other mental sicknesses bearing similar subjective evidence as well as a phenomenon in their manifestation. The classification is called Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The highly complicated neurobehavioral illness causes several social impairments. These include difficulty in conversing and general speech among the affected children, moodiness, lack of empathy and also recurrent movements that seem involuntary among many others.

Non-keen parents would probably take all these as normal, perceiving them to be the child’s way of life which is never the real case. In fact, some may want to ask them why they perform certain annoying actions repeatedly – but the answer never comes out quite clearly. 

Autism

However, all is never lost for these group of children. Lots of medical facilities dealing with children with disabilities of this nature exists almost in every part of the world. Therefore, you have no reason to hide your child from the rest just because of their condition.

Remember, early diagnosis stands very helpful in getting your child help before harshness joins in.

Types of Autism

Despite not having exactly similar subjective indicators, all other disorders that affect the public conversation of children are classified under one umbrella term, Autism. These illnesses comprise of the following;

  • Autistic disorder: Often people confuse between Autistic and autism. Most people think they are one and the same thing however not. However, autism in its definition represents the umbrella term while Autistic defines all hitches associated plus which affects public relations, conversation, as well as imaginative play among children below three years of age.
  • Asperger’s syndrome: This syndrome occurs in its own unique characteristics whereby infected youngsters possess great intelligence towards language plus in fact, performs well in, above average in the test. However, they lack proper communication skills, especially for public communication. 

They mostly prefer discussing one single topic every time, a situation that appears atypical for their listeners. Additionally, such youngsters avoid direct looks in the eye and always perform certain monotonous actions such as rocking.

  • The pervasive progressive illness also PDD: PDD, sometimes referred to as atypical autism occurs in a unique manner as it can infect every child showing autistic behaviors. It’s only distinctive characteristic is that it never fits in the rest of the available categories. 
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder: This form fall under rare Autism complaints. It lets your child grow and progress ordinarily for two years from birth before it attacks them. The illness impairs children’s communication as well as social skill. As much as it’s never common, few cases concerning it get reported.

Every type of illness here may occur over their mild or severe cases. Severe cases might be a little bit tricky to handle unless with health specialists. Thus, it is of great effect to have an early diagnosis on any of them before the condition worsens.

Asperger’s Disorder

Asperger’s illness falls under those chronic mental sicknesses which diversely affects normal behavioral and relational ability or characteristics among youngsters. Initially, it was perceived to stand on its own however, further research identified it as one of the ASD’s. 

Those infected with the syndrome are seen having abnormal social communication skills despite them having proper knowledge of subject and language. Their speech will always be rigid and often they lack relevant expression on their faces while communicating. 

Another indicator relating to this sickness is that the patients always lack empathy. They will never feel the mood you are in – every conversation to them seem even. Furthermore, they would like talking about the same topic repeatedly and make particular movements such as rocking or pacing over and over.

A particular cause has not yet been discovered. However, researchers relate its source to genes, environment or changes in children’s brain structure. Still more research yet to establish its real cause are underway. 

Effective treatment option for this illness comprises of both therapeutic ones as well as medication.

Autistic disorder

Autism or “mindblindedness” as it is currently referred, defines a nerve illness which affects standard growth of young people starting at the age of 3 years. It is a form of mental illness which “places” children in their “own unique world” where they see and perceive things differently and behave far from normal. 

Autistic disorder

Infected kids often lose sense of social awareness and instead focuses on their own liking. The only strange factor about their focus is that it forms in them a routine of always repeating the same actions and behaviors consistently. This would be a clear indicator that your child is not normal.

Another common sings you will notice with them is communication skill’s problems. Despite being fully knowledgeable of a particular subject or language, they will always use poor vocabulary and rigid language accompanied by the unpleasant tone in some cases. Furthermore, they will lack facial expressions while conversing and often will avoid direct looks in the eye.

In some cases, these kids might show elements of impulsivity and strange body movements which they perform in a continuous mode. Thus, you might find them flipping their hands or rocking. Remember, some of these performances may be unbecoming and embarrassing at some point. It is in such cases that some parents hide their kids.

As per various medical examination reports, about half a million persons in the United States suffer from this chronic illness. Out of this situation, several kids have remained in lonely states after dismissing relationships they earlier had with their friends. 

Seeking early treatment on autism saves your child a big deal. At least from the rehabs or medication they might earn recovery and adapt certain skills viable for socialization. Specific medication actually does not exist for this illness, however, there are available therapies and medication which help ease the situation.

Rett’s Syndrome

This represents another mental illness type bearing similar characteristics as those of autism sicknesses. It affects youngsters 3 years old and above plus it mainly affects their ability to interact, muscle operation’s, linguistic in addition to speech among many additional effects. 

These kids would frequently lack proper social skills and whenever speaking, would avoid eye contacts and use inappropriate looks in the eye. Moreover, they lack empathy – they are never able to read other human emotions and respond to them normally. 

Initially, it was classified as one of the ASD’s however, after research revealed its exact causative, it was named independent. The research determined that the main causative for this syndrome was gene mutation.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

CDD sometimes called Heller’s syndrome explains a unique disintegrative psychosis which occurs among children above the age of 3 years. Its diverse effect manifests in the deterioration of child’s development in terms of their conversation styles and skills, social functions, and muscular operation.

The disorder was first described by an Australian Educator, Thomas Heller, back in the year 1908 as a Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Other classifications placed it under Pervasive Developmental Disorders which as well suited its characteristic’s description. Though, these characteristics relate it more to the autism disorders.

At its discovery days, CDD did not have a specific cause. It was simply considered a medical disorder with unidentifiable cause. Despite several medical researchers which would lead towards discovering its cause, non-revealed clearly any neurological or medical cause of it. 

Hence, for that reason, CDD was added in the 4th edition of the Analytical and Statistical Manual of Mental Complaints, also known as the DSM-IV,[1]. This was back in the year 1994.

CDD is particularly known to affect the brain’s operation erasing all the skills it had earlier installed. In specific terms, it affects children’s neurobiology thus causing the children to develop an unusual electroencephalogram (EEG). Meaning, the measuring of the electrical activities of the brain gets disrupted easily. 

Statistical research on CDD indicates that boy is at higher chances of acquiring the condition as compared to ladies. Thus giving a ratio of 8 boys to one girl. 

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

The definition of PDD remains similar to that of other Autism. It explains a mental illness situation affecting children of ages 3 years and above.  The disorder leads causes delays and interruptions in growth trends of a child.  

Therefore, you will find these kids showing difficulty in communicating due to lack of proper communication skills. They will also develop socialization problems, obedience to particular procedures they need no change for, repetitive actions as well as other atypical performances. 

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

In recent days, doctors do not call it PDD anymore. Most of them refer it as an autism spectrum disorder. The name changed in the year 2013 when a reclassification of autistic disorders was done by a Psychiatric Association in the US. These illnesses included childhood disintegrative disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and pervasive developmental illness not otherwise identified (PDD-NOS) as one of the autism spectrum disorders.

The main significance of this change rested on the fact that the spectrum ideology seemed to be a more medically accurate method towards a diagnosis of children suffering from this illness. 

Various symptoms exist to define this condition, they include:

  • Problems with social connections and conversing skills
  • Repetition of particular behavioral characteristics  
  • Shun eye contact
  • Inability to express proper reasoning over different situations 
  • Talks in a rigid voice, very high pitched 
  • Inability to withstand long talks
  • Emotional fluctuations
  • Performance of certain actions over and over such as flapping of hands, jumping or twirling

Causes

So far, no specific factor has been discovered to be the main cause of the disorder. However, Scientists relate its cause to genetic.

Treatment

PDD has no particular treatment method though, medical and therapeutic procedures help reduce or eliminate associated effects.

Causes of Autism

Numerous revisions have been done towards discovering the real cause of Autism. Unfortunately, none of them have been of ultimate success.  Different factors have though been linked to its cause, some of which are just thought of not attempt of scientific proof. 

Some of these causes include;

  • Genes 

A close monitoring research of this disorder indicates its occurrence it is determined by bloodline. A frequent case exists where the downline members of a family get to acquire the illness. 

If a parent is/was a victim then high chances are that their children will have the illness as well or be carriers.

However, there is no evidence that if as a parent you are infected one of your bloodlines must be as well.

  • Brain structure

Autism causes disruption in the electrical activities in the brain thus, limiting thinking ability. Once, neurobiology faces interruption, the entire reasoning capacity of an individual lower and therefore makes patients decide wrongly on simple issues.

Research into the brain structure of these patients has revealed that they usually show the difference in their temporal lobes and also frontal – when compared to the normal brains.

Studies on this are underway to establish whether these changes related to genes, damages during birth and shortly after or an amalgamation of them all. 

  • Environment 

According to some medical research experts, environment serves as a key factor towards the causative of this mental disorder. However, this is not yet fully verified. More time is being spent on it in trying to find out more truth in it.  

Otherwise, the following environments are considered to be enough causative factors:

  • When a baby is born of an infected mother
  • When there exist complication during birth
  • Exposure to high-risk chemicals such as pesticides
  • Use of certain drugs, for instance, Tubulin (terbutaline), antipsychotics, mood stabilizers or Depakene (valproic acid)
  • Exposure to certain air pollutants
  • When a child is born of old parents

However, note that these facts are yet under discovery. A child might pass through them or experience all of them yet come out free of the virus or any other form of it.

Signs And Symptoms Of Autism

A whole list exists composing various subjective indicators and phenomenon confirming the presence of Autism illness. Here are the most common ones:

  • Lack of proper communication skills
  • Their language and speech is always rigid and of high tone
  • Lack of facial expressions when conversing
  • Focuses on particular subjects or actions and invites no change
  • The infected lack empathy. They will see you cry or laugh and feel nothing
  • Shows elements of poor muscle coordination
  • Such children avoid persons of their age group, instead prefers the company of the elders or the younger
  • Their conversation lacks eye contact. The avoid it so much
  • They sometimes become moody
  • They usually have impaired reasoning
Signs And Symptoms Of Autism

Autism Prevalence

  • According to the US Centre of Disease Control as well as Department Disabilities Monitoring, for every group of 59 children, one is always a victim of the ASD. 
  • ASD does not discriminate in lines of race, socioeconomic group or ethnicity. 
  • Boys are likely to be infected with ASD than girls. This translates to 4 times higher chances.
  • Individuals in Asia, North America, and Europe have ASD prevalence of between 1% and 2%.
  • 2006 – 2008 Statistics in the USA indicate that about 1 out of 6 children developed the disability ranging from mild levels to severe. The disabilities were cerebral palsy, speech and language impairments, intellectual disabilities, and autism.

The Treatment Procedure for Autism Disorder

Autism illness causes lots of inconveniences and disruptions of peoples education, work among other things. A solid solution has not yet though been established, however, there are few distinct methods that reduce the effects of signs and symptoms of the condition.

These include:

Therapies: 

These help training the patient in effective ways of managing anger, stress, and poor behavior among many others. The process involves specialists such as Speech therapist, Clinical Psychologist, Neurologist, Occupational Therapist, Psychiatrist, Primary Care Provider (PCP) and Pediatrician,

Medications

This option consists of Antipsychotic

Combination of the two, therapy and medication helps substantially in reducing signs and symptoms of the illness.

Importance of Sharing Awareness about Autism

Autism remains a real condition affection children’s life regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and environment and so on. Most parents fail to understand its occurrence and therefore some even hide their infected children for fear of embarrassment. 

Autism

However, it should be clear that this is a condition that can effectively be managed to reduce any inconvenience that may come alongside it. Spreading awareness in this could save the lives of lots of young children awareness.

Difference between Autism and ADHD

ADHD defines a neurodevelopmental disorder which impairs concentration ability of children making them lose attention to some issues or events.  

On the other hand, autism refers to a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders which alters the social and communication skills as well as thinking of a child. 

Conclusion

One of the most disturbing mental illnesses is autism. It is a general term consisting other brain interfering ailments which deteriorate development of children above the age of three years. As much as it can be inconveniencing to the child, too much pressure as well builds on the parents as that will mean poor performances in school and in general life.

Symptoms of this illness come to a list of them and the best advice is always to seek medical care as soon as possible. The most common ones include loss of proper conversation skills, avoidance of eye contacts, rigid language, and tone, poor muscle coordination, lack of empathy, lack of expressions on the face and many others like poor reasoning. 

Autism facts

No particular cause has been related to any disorder belonging in this spectrum, however, genes, brain changes, and environment are considered the main factors.

 Effective treatment options, however, exist comprising both therapies and medicines. Doctors will always have a special prescription for individual patients. Remember, early diagnosis always helps in curbing conditions which would have rather gone severely.

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