Understanding Autism

Autism belongs to a group of serious childhood developmental problems also known as autism spectrum disorders or ASD. The symptoms and the severity of the problem may vary from child to child. But in general, children with autism disorders generally affects a child’s ability to socialize, communicate and interact with other people.

Causes of autism

Autism has no single known cause. The complexity of the disease has led doctors to believe that there are several possible causes of autism in children. One of the main causes seem to be due to certain genetic errors. Certain genetic errors may make a child more prone to developing the disorder.

Genetic errors that affect brain development and the way brain cells communicate with each other. Some of these genetic errors seem to be inherited while some just seem to occur spontaneously.

Doctors also believe that some forĀ  of autism may also be caused by certain environmental factors. Researchers are now studying the possibility of viral infections and certain environmental toxins being associated with autism.

Symptoms of autism

Symptoms of autism in children are exhibited in the three important areas of development. Autistic children experience serious problems concerning behavior, communication and social interaction. The most severe form of autism is indicated by a complete inability of the child to interact or communicate with other people.

The effects of autism may vary in children and may display unique patterns of behavior. Some of the common symptoms seen in autistic children include being withdrawn from people, poor reaction to a certain stimulus, inability to talk, performing repetitive bodily movements, poor eye contact and poor conversation skills.

Some of these symptoms may be exhibited in early infancy while other autistic children may develop them sometime during the development stages.

How autism is diagnosed?

Diagnosis of autism in children is usually made through a specialist. The doctor may look for signs such as developmental delays and other symptoms associated with autism.

Diagnosis of the disorder is difficult since there is no specific test that will help doctors confirm the condition. Close observation of the child’s behavior and development is usually required and evaluated by a team of experts in order to diagnose autism in children.

How to treat autism?

There is no cure for autism. The treatment for the condition may vary since autism may affect children at different degrees. But early intervention would help children handle and manage the disorder through the help of a variety of therapies.

Depending on which area of development an autistic child may need help on, doctors may recommend behavioral and communication therapy to help with developing social, language and communication skills, specialized educational programs designed for autistic kids or drug therapy that may help control some of the symptoms that may be associated with autism.