Autism, an Elusive Problem: Helpful Tips

Considering the fact that autism disorder varies widely, the old term, autism, has been changed to Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD.  It is not a disease, but a developmental brain disorder.  In spite of years of persistent research, it is estimated that more than 400,000 individuals in the United States are autistic.  Doctors, psychologists and scientists continue to be mystified by the fact that so far, researchers have not succeeded in pinpointing the cause of the problem.

The Autism Society of America has concluded that autism is the third most common developmental disability and is considered to be a more serious problem than Down syndrome, affecting children, particularly those between 1987 and 1992.   The incidence of autism continues to present a problem, though it has been reported that it is not as serious as previous years.  However, the conundrum in the way of ascertaining the root cause of the problem has not interrupted the progress of research in the direction of opening up avenues through which there might be a better knowledge of why the problem has so far eluded success.

Studies have shown that males are more likely to have the disorder than females.  Further studies have revealed that there are those that have a genetic disposition to autism, based on the fact that families with one autistic child have  a 5 percent chance of having another autistic child.  Symptoms appear when a child is observed as being hard of hearing and mentally retarded, although caregivers are explicit about the possibility that such symptoms might signify other conditions. 

Bear in mind, children that are autistic do not generally exhibit a marked difference, as far as behavior is concerned, but are diagnosed with the problem in early childhood, before the age of three, characterized by a lack of response to other people, including the environment.   Another aspect of autism shows a predisposition to indifference on the part of a child when he or she appears agitated  instead of responding to maternal love and affection, as well as crying most of the time when awake.

Children that are autistic cannot form attachments to others in the way most children do and are inclined to be particularly withdrawn, exhibiting abnormal behaviors, such as feet-pounding, constant rocking, or lacking any kind of communication whatsoever.  As time goes by, autistic children might become hyperactive, including biting and pounding on their bodies.

Based on the studies by the National Institute  of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,  autism could be diagnosed as follows:

l)   When there is no social play on the part of the child;

2)   Inability to make friends with peers;

3)   Inability to sustain any conversation;

4)   A propensity toward an unusual use of language;

5)    Lack of focus and absence or restriction of interests;

6)    Inflexibility as far as rituals or routine are concerned.

7)     Learning disabilities;

8)      Delay in speech development;

9)       A score of below 50 on IQ tests.

It is incumbent on parents or caregivers to seek the help of a neurologist, a psychologist, a developmental pediatrician, a speech therapist and a learning consultant, most of whom could train the autistic child to get on the right track of thinking and acting normally or near-normally so that, as time goes by, he or she might be fully or partially equipped with the tools whereby the demands of adulthood would not pose a perennial problem that might prove to be serious otherwise.

Helpful tips:

l)    Eat a high fiber diet;

2)   Abstain from wheat and wheat products;

3)    Exercise moderately;

4)     Deep breathing exercise.

In conclusion, the severe effects of autism could be appreciably mitigated with proper care and concern.

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