Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is a disorder that has become so much more prevalent in recent years, even though it has been around for several decades. Autism is a sever disorder that affects the function of the brain. I first heard about Autism when Singer, Song Writer, and Actress Toni Braxton’s son was diagnosed with autism. They now have a TV Show where as the main character is a Doctor with Autism spectrum disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that causes difficulty with social interactions and communication challenges. Repetitive or restricted behaviors, interests and activities. There is nothing different about the psychical appearance of someone with Autism, but people with autism may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people.
Not all children will experience the same sign or symptoms and they may be mild to extreme.
Understanding development milestone is important in diagnosing autism. Keeping a close eye on when or if your child is hitting milestones socially, emotionally, and cognitively is an effective way to spot autism early on. Autism is hard to diagnose before 24 months, symptoms often begin between 12 and 18 months. Unable to communicate verbally and nonverbally. The repetitive behavior may include rocking, flapping of the hands and arms, twisting, walking on their tiptoes, some kids with autism may have some have self-harming behaviors such as head banging, slapping the face or body, and biting self. Social communication and interaction such as poor eye contact and don’t show facial expressions, they can have delayed speech or not speak at all. Unable to understand questions and directions. Difficulty responding to his or her name. Dislikes cuddling and holding. (Smith, M.)
How is Autism Diagnosed?
Diagnosing autism is hard because there isn’t any medical test to diagnose it. This take a team effort, the family is the main part of the team because they interact with the child the most, other team members include a child psychologist, developmental-behavioral pediatrician, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist, and other professionals. In 2013, a revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was formed. The revision changed the way autism is classified and diagnosed. Using the previous version of the DSM, people could be diagnosed with one of several conditions such as Autistic disorder, Asperger’s’ syndrome, Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
In the DSM (the DSM-5), these separate conditions have been combined into Autism Spectrum Disorder. People diagnosed as having Asperger’s syndrome will now be diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder. (Kasair, C.)
Treatment is a case to case bases, its geared to help improve the quality of life for the child. There is no cure for autism, some children may need medication to help them focus better. The Keto diet has been used to help with children with autism how also have epilepsy. The Keto diet consist of a low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat diet. Behavior therapy is used to help with behavior that may hurt the child or interfere with activities of daily living. It also may help the parent to understand the child’s triggers, by learning this it will help to avoid putting the child in situation that may trigger the behavior such as loud crowds. Occupational therapy teaches skills to help the child to develops skill to help them be as independent as possible. Skills such as dressing, eating, bathing, and communicating with other people. Sensory integration therapy helps the child deal with sensory, such as look, listen, and smells. It also could help a child who is bothered by certain sounds or does not like to be touched. Speech therapy to improve the child’s communication skills. Some kids can be taught verbal communication skills. Some children do better using gestures or picture boards.
Avoid long instruction, use simple three to four step directions. You can also use a picture board to give instruction, because children with autism tends to be visual learner. Autistic children often are fixed on one item, such as a ball. You can use the ball to motivate daily activity. If the child likes balls, then use balls to help them with school work. As a parent of an autistic child it is important to have a strong support system, autism doesn’t just affect the child but everyone in the family. Make time for the other kids as well so they don’t feel neglected. You can find support groups to help deal with the strain it may cause your family. Some family member might not understand the stress you might be going through. Its is helpful to have other people to talk to that are dealing with the same thing.