Autism (say: aw -tih-zum) causes kids to experience the world differently from the way most other kids do. Kids who have autism usually keep to themselves and many can’t communicate without special help. Although treatment has improved greatly in the past few decades, autism cannot be cured. It’s estimated that three to six of every 1,000 children have autism. It persists throughout life. Some believe this increase is largely due to changed diagnostic criteria and/or societal factors, while others think the reason is environmental. Although the specific causes of autism are unknown, there is a large database of links between autism and genetic loci that span every chromosome. Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Some autistic children and adults are opposed to attempts to cure autism, because they see autism as part of who they are, and in some cases they perceive attempts of a cure to be intensive and unnatural.
Symptoms of Autism
Some Symptoms of Autism :
Avoids cuddling or making eye contact.
Doesn’t respond to voices or other sounds.
Injures himself or herself or is unafraid of danger.
Has a flat facial expression or uses a monotone voice.
Doesn’t understand hand gestures or body language.
Is very concerned with order, routine or ritual.
Treatment of Autism
Therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills. Family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with autism often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with an autistic child.
Doctors often prescribe an antidepressant medication to handle symptoms of anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anti-psychotic medications are used to treat severe behavioral problems. Seizures can be treated with one or more of the anticonvulsant drugs.
There are a number of controversial therapies or interventions available for autistic children, but few, if any, are supported by scientific studies. Parents should use caution before adopting any of these treatments.