Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complicated, lifelong developmental disorder that often manifests itself from early childhood and can influence how a person perceives and socializes with others, resulting in difficulties with social interaction and communication.
Some ASD patients have a known condition, such as a genetic disorder. Other causes are unknown at this time. Scientists believe that there are numerous origins of ASD that interact to alter the most typical ways people develop.
When does the signs appear?
Everyone's experience with Autism is unique. Some children exhibit early signs of autism spectrum disorder, such as diminished eye contact, a lack of reaction to their name, or indifference toward caretakers. Other children may develop properly for the first few months or years of their lives, but later become distant or violent, or lose linguistic skills they've already learned. Signs are normally visible by the age of two years.
How to diagnose ASD
ASD is difficult to diagnose because there is no medical test, such as a blood test. To make a diagnosis, doctors examine the child's behavior and development.
The doctor may advise you to have your child tested for developmental delays in cognitive, linguistic, and social abilities.
When to go to a doctor
As parents, we eagerly wait for our children to begin communicating with us and responding to our expressions. There are various indications connected to social communication skills and behavioral patterns that can suggest that your child has ASD; however, just because your child exhibits one of these symptoms does not entail that S/he has ASD. Some of the indications to look for in your baby include:
- Your baby does not respond with a smile or expression by 6 months
- Your baby fails to mimic sounds or facial expressions by 9 months
- Your baby doesn't babble or coo by 12 months
- Your toddler did not say any single word by the age of 16 months
- Your toddler resists cuddling and holding, and seems to prefer playing alone.
- Your toddler has poor eye contact
- Your toddler does not express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others' feelings. S/he can exhibit passive, aggressive or disruptive behavior.
- Your child will perform repetitive movements, such as rocking or spinning.
- Your child fixates intensely on one object.
- Your child has specific food preferences.
- And many others symptoms that can be unique to each child
How to prevent ASD
There is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, although there are treatments available. Early detection and intervention are most beneficial, since they can improve behavior, abilities, and language development. Children with autism spectrum condition may learn to function well even if they do not outgrow their symptoms.
It is particularly hard for a parent to deal with an autistic child, especially if your community lacks support and assistance. Aside from the medical care and therapies that you may arrange for your child, there are simple, everyday things that you may do to help you
Learn more about autism. The more you understand about autism spectrum disorder, the more prepared you will be to make the right decisions for your child.
Learn everything you can about your child. Determine what causes your child's challenging or disruptive actions, as well as what prompts a positive response. What causes stress or fear in your child? What soothes your child? What make your child feel uneasy or comfortable?
Accept your child for who he or she is. Enjoy your child's unique characteristics and quit comparing your child to others. Practice acceptance; more than anything else, your child will benefit from feeling completely loved.
Don’t give up. Don't make assumptions about what your child's life will be like. People with autism, like everyone else, have a lifetime to grow and improve their abilities.
Make a safe zone in your home. Make a private area in your home for your child to relax, feel safe, and be protected.
Learn about the nonverbal cues. You can learn to pick up on the nonverbal clues that children with ASD use to communicate. Take note of the sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the motions they employ when they are weary, hungry, or uncomfortable.
Take note of your child's sensory sensitivity. Many autistic children are too sensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Determine which light, sounds, scents and motions cause your child's disruptive behavior and which generate a good behavior.
Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Each autistic child is unique, with different talents and limitations. Your child's treatment should be tailored to their specific needs. You are the best person to know your child and to ensure that their needs are satisfied.