Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex condition characterized by communication and behavioral issues. It can include a wide variety of symptoms and abilities. ASD can be a minor issue or a disability requiring full-time care in a specialized facility.
Autistic people have difficulty communicating. They have difficulty understanding what other people are thinking and feeling. This makes it difficult for them to express themselves verbally or through gestures, facial expressions, and touch.
Autistic people may struggle with learning. Their abilities may develop unevenly. For example, they may struggle to communicate but excel at art, music, math, or memory. As a result, they may perform particularly well on analytical or problem-solving tests.
Autism is now being diagnosed in more children than ever before. However, the most recent figures could be higher due to changes in how the disorder is diagnosed, not because more children have it.
Common signs of autism
Autism symptoms usually appear before a child reaches the age of three. Some people exhibit symptoms from birth.
Autism is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Absence of eye contact
- A narrow range of interests or a strong interest in a few topics
- Repeating something, such as repeating words or phrases, rocking back and forth, or flipping a lever
- High sensitivity to sounds, touches, smells, or sights that appear normal to others
- avoiding looking at or listening to others
- Not looking at things when they are pointed out to you
- refusing to be held or cuddled
- Speech, gestures, facial expressions, or tone of voice comprehension or use issues
- Speaking in a sing-song, flat, or robotic tone of voice
- Having difficulty adapting to changes in routine
Seizures can occur in some autistic children. These may not appear until adolescence.
Types of Autism
These were once thought to be distinct conditions. They now fall into the category of autism spectrum disorders, which includes:
These children do not struggle with language; in fact, intelligence tests show that they are in the average or above-average range. They do, however, have social issues and a limited range of interests.
Autistic spectrum disorder
When most people hear the word “autism,” they immediately think of this. It refers to difficulties with social interactions, communication, and play in children under the age of three.
Disintegrative disorder of childhood
These children develop normally for at least two years before losing some or all of their communication and social skills.
Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD or atypical autism)
If your child exhibits some autistic behavior, such as delays in social and communication skills, but does not fit into another category, your doctor may use this term.
It is unclear why autism occurs. It could be caused by issues in the areas of your brain that interpret sensory input and process language.
- Autism affects boys four times more than girls. It can happen to people of any race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. A child’s risk of autism is unaffected by family income, lifestyle, or educational level. However, there are some dangers:
- Because autism runs in families, certain gene combinations may increase a child’s risk.
- A child with an older parent is more likely to develop autism.
- Pregnant women who are exposed to certain drugs or chemicals, such as alcohol or seizure medications, have a higher risk of having autistic children. Maternal metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity are also risk factors. Autism has also been linked to untreated phenylketonuria and rubella.
Consult a doctor
If you think your child is showing the signs of autism, you should consult a doctor immediately and allow your kid to have immediate attention.
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