Autism is a development disorder that forbids an individual from social interactions and communications. They are bound to repetitive behaviour far too often. Autism usually shows up at a young age and as an individual grows up, more and more symptoms show up. Many children take time to reach some developmental milestones.
Autism is related to some genetic and environmental factors. Certain factors during pregnancy such as alcoholism, cocaine, etc lead to autism in newborns. Recent researches confirm multiple genetic abnormalities that can lead to autism. In addition to this, many metabolic or biochemical factors that can cause autism in children There are many environmental factors as well, which may not be much. Children with autism need constant care and protection from their family members and other caregivers.
While autism can only be treated by doctors, there are many common symptoms that parents and caregivers can look out for:
- Pragmatic Language – Most individuals with autism have difficulty communicating with other people. This particular symptom shows up during early childhood. Any delays in speech development and nonverbal communication should encourage parents to see a specialist.
- Eye Contact and Nonverbal Communication – Children with autism often have difficulty making eye-contact. Other non-verbal communication difficulties may include recognizing and using facial expressions, physical gestures, and overall body language.
- The Tone of Voice – Some people with autism may have difficulty modulating their tone of voice. As a result, they may speak too loudly, too quietly, and/or with a monotone voice.
- Repetitive Behaviors – Many people with autism may perform the same behaviours repetitively. This is also common for schizophrenic patients. This may include rocking, spinning, or flapping of the hands and arms.
- Ritualistic Behaviors – This may include eating the same food at every meal or watching the same videos repetitively. They also get upset easily.
- Self-Injury – Some children with autism tend to hurt themselves. These signs can also arise early, so a parent can notice and ask for immediate help.
Challenges Faced by Autistic Children
Children with autism go through many challenges in their lives, as do their parents and guardians. As they have many motor and communicative difficulties, they have trouble in school. A school rarely provides a good environment for an autistic child. Other kids’ success and the various challenges in a school environment often makes it difficult for the autistic child to cope. In such cases, it might make autism worse.
Autistic kids are often sensitive to loud noises and bright lights. Schools are often breeding grounds for such noises and lights which might cause discomfort among the children. This might further agitate them and make them hurt themselves. An autistic child often has problems with reading and writing. Children with autism are almost certain to be at a disadvantage, as learning how to read and write can be a major challenge. There are many other challenges that an autistic child might face in a school which would be very unpleasant and in some cases dangerous for them. 21st-century schools are in no way a fit for such children. Schools today are only designed for a specific group of students.
Researches on Autism in India
As a developing country, India has had more research articles on Autism than any others. There have been many published and unpublished articles that have helped in the advances made.
In a country as vast as India, there are no direct channels to organizations dealing with such disorders such as the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, in Secunderabad, and Action for Autism, New Delhi. Parents must rely on references from their paediatricians, and psychologists, on word of mouth, and newspaper articles or television broadcasts to find out about such places. By the time families of autistic children become aware that there is a national organization that specifically deals with these needs, things get worse. In the case of autism, a correct diagnosis is crucial because research has demonstrated the effectiveness of the early intervention, a specific intervention that occurs between the age of birth, and four years.
Treatments of this Mental Condition
Indians have a reputation for considering Autism as being a mental disorder. So, the vast majority of children do not get the appropriate kind of treatment. Historically, most autistic children were not even recognized until it was too late. Most people in India thought that children with autism were “slow” and best left to themselves.
Currently, many schools provide education to children with autism in the correct way. There are now autism-specific schools in India. However, considering the number of children suffering from autism, the number is not a lot. Most of these schools do not have a sufficient number of trainers.
TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children) is a behaviour-based treatment, for children with autism. In India, TEACCH strategies were first introduced at Open Door in Delhi in 1995, followed shortly by ASHA in Bangalore. Over the next few years, TEACCH strategies began to spread across India through various training workshops.
Children with autism cannot take care of themselves. They have to be under constant care by their parents. Parents of autistic children have to be specifically attentive to the children, noting the little changes taking place. Parents need to constantly educate themselves. They are advised to keep up to date on all research to help their children. Most parents have to quit their jobs to focus their attention on their children.
Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of diagnosed cases of autism in the U.S. and around the world. Experts do not know if this is because the disorder is actually on the rise, or if doctors are simply diagnosing it more effectively. We should learn more answers to questions like these over the next few years. That’s because many researchers are currently looking into autism’s origins, prevalence, and treatment.
Autism is a sad disorder that swipes the face of Earth. Unfortunately, it usually gets unnoticed by people. Most people do not know about the issues faced by such patients and the toll it takes over the family members. In order to treat Autism in a correct way, people have to come to terms with the presence of disorders such as this and other disorders which affect the cognitive and emotional health. Only then can it be acknowledged and hence treated in its fullest sense. Many children miss out on their lives owing to Autism and many parents suffer seeing their children go through this journey. As citizens, we must all learn to deal with autistic individuals and make their surroundings loving and easy.