Child autism

When talking about child autism many people assume it is one disorder when in fact autism is a general term used to categorize a collection of pervasive developmental disorders. These disorders affect social and communication skills and motor and language skills, however they can affect these skills to a greater or lesser degree depending on the person. Some people may experience a higher IQ whereas another person with autism may be mentally handicapped. There are other areas in which people will demonstrate a broad range of differences. Some people may be very quiet and others very talkative. Some people may not like to be touched when some are very affectionate. It is all dependent on the individual case.

When diagnosing autism, a child will be evaluated for social interaction impairments, problems with communications (verbal and nonverbal), repetitive and unusual actions and limited interests. There are different forms of autism that can have more distinct symptoms and they are Asperger syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder and Rett syndrome. Having a form of autism is 4 times more likely in boys than girls and it is estimated that 3-6 children out of 1,000 will have autistic behaviors.

Autism usually has three distinctive behaviors. One of these behaviors is the impaired ability to interact socially. Often this is noticed early on in infancy by a child’s parents. A baby or child may not respond to his parents and may become fixated on one item exclusively for lengthy amounts of time. It is also common for a child to seem to progress normally then all of a sudden become withdrawn and avoid social interaction. Children with this disorder may not respond when their name is called and may avoid eye contact. They have a hard time understanding other people’s emotions and lack empathy.

Another common symptom in children with autism is the need for repetitive actions and movements. These can include spinning, rocking, head banging, or biting. Autistic children do not understand how to play with other children and often refer to themselves in third person. Talking may be delayed and they may only care to talk about a select few topics that they enjoy and may show little interest in any other topics of conversation.

Children with autism usually have a higher pain tolerance. However, they are extremely sensitive to sensory stimulation, such as sight and touch. For this reason these children tend to avoid being hugged or cuddled with. This can be very challenging and frustrating for parents that want to show their child affection.
Unfortunately autism is not a curable disorder. Depending on the type of autism and the severity some children may grow up to live fairly normal lives. Each child is different and no two cases are exactly alike. If your child is showing extreme characteristics or side effects of the disorder it is possible to treat with medications. Sometimes medications are prescribed for depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorders. Severe behavioral problems are also treatable with medications. Another common side effect in certain types of autism is the development of seizures and these can also be controlled with proper medicines.

Besides medicinal treatments there are also behavioral therapies that can be used and offer a great deal of success in helping autistic children cope with social impairments. Dealing with an autistic child can be frustrating, challenging and exhausting for parents. Parents are always trying to find a better way to communicate with their child and therefore therapies and counseling for parents and other members of the family are also very helpful. Often finding a support group of other families that are learning to cope with the same issues you are going through can be quite comforting.

Last updated on May 24th, 2009 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed