What is Autism?
It’s a congenital neuropsychiatric disorder. The child adapts to develop altered behavior, social interaction and communication skills.
What are the Symptoms?
It’s a combination of symptoms across the spectrum of impaired social interaction, impaired communication skills and altered behavior.
A) Impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
1. impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye contact, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
2. failure to develop friends and peer relationships appropriate to his developmental level
3. a lack of interest in seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people.
B) Impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
1. Delay in, or total lack of development of spoken language.
2. In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.
3. stereotyped and repetitive use of language
4. lack of make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level
C) Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
1. increased intensity or focus on a single stereotyped and restricted pattern of interest.
2. inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals.
3. stereotyped and repetitive mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
4. persistent preoccupation with parts of an object.
Other symptoms include delay or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:
(1) social interaction,
(2) language as used in social communication, or
(3) symbolic or imaginative play.
How is it Treated?
a. There is no cure for Autism
b. Symptomatic treatment can be given for alternate behavior patterns.
c. Occupational therapy and counseling can be used to introduce new behavior patterns within a child.
d. Consulting a trained professional in the field of child neuro-psychiatry is essential.