What is Autism? Autism is a disorder of the brain which makes it difficult to communicate and form relationships with others. This, in turn, makes it more of a challenge to relate to people with autism. Autism is one of many communication disorders that run along a spectrum and can range in severity. Researchers believe that autism develops at some point in the first three years of a person‚ life. People who are diagnosed with autism have a range of difficulties with communication and social exchanges.
What Causes Autism?
The direct causes of autism are unknown, but many researchers believe that the disorder may be related to the specific genetics of a person. Although researchers and scientists do not know the exact genes which may lead to the development of autism, they are attempting to pinpoint the genes so a potential treatment can be created. There have been several studies that have looked at the causes of autism possibly being linked to other medical conditions or even by something in the child‚Äôs environment which may be responsible for the development of the disorder. There has been an increasing number of people who believe that vaccines administered during the childhood years may be a cause of autism, but official studies on the matter have shown this cause to have no basis on facts.
What Are the Symptoms of Autism?
Although people who have been diagnosed with autism do not generally show the same type or number of symptoms, there are some shared symptoms, also called “core symptoms” that doctors recognize. These core symptoms are then categorized into three separate subcategories consisting of social, communication, and interests.
Symptoms that are a part of the social subcategory include problems in the development of non-verbal communication skills, trouble with establishing friends of the same age, low interest in expressing feelings or thoughts with others, as well as a general lacking of empathy. In the communication subcategory symptoms can include the delay of learning to talk (or never learning at all), troubles with conversing with others, the constant repeating of an earlier heard phrase, and difficulty in understanding the perspective of someone with whom they may be communicating. Symptoms that belong to the interest subcategory include obsessions with specific topics and the need for routine, as well as other odd behaviors.
What Treatment Options are Available For People With Autism?
The main goal when treating anyone who has been diagnosed with autism is to reduce some of the challenges that are associated with the disorder. There are several therapeutic and educational approaches to treating those with autism. Because symptoms vary from one person to the next, the treatment of autism is specifically tailored for an individual‚Äôs needs and the available resources of the family. Generally speaking children with autism benefit the most from treatment that has been highly specialized as well as structured. The most successful treatment plan will include strategies that will improve the child‚Äôs social, communication, behavior, and learning difficulties. The different types of treatment a doctor or therapist may recommend include behavior training, specialized therapy, use of certain medications, as well as parent and community support and training.