Autism: everything you need to know about this disorder

According to studies, 1 in 100 babies can be born with autism, in most cases it is more frequent in children. This disease affects the communication capacity of the person who suffers it, preventing him from establishing social relationships like any individual. It can alter the development of children and manifests itself without distinction of ethnicity or social class. Everything you need to know about this disease it is very important and should always be kept in mind.

What is autism?

It is an alteration in the neurological system, which is part of the autism spectrum disorders. This condition falls under the classification of pervasive developmental disorders and is sometimes difficult to diagnose.

It is also known as PDD and it is a condition that causes serious problems when it comes to social relationships. This generates that both the abilities to interact and communicate are affected. People with autism can show a series of very repetitive behaviors.

This disease is permanent, which means that once diagnosed, it will last for life. For this reason, it is essential to diagnose it in time to start a series of treatments that will help reduce the symptoms of autism. In this way, patients with autism significantly improve their quality of life, as well as that of their loved ones.

When can autism be diagnosed?

According to various research, autism can be diagnosed after three years of life. However, recent studies assure that there is a possibility that this disease can be diagnosed before this period. To be more specific, it can be identified from the first 6 months of the baby's life.

Although its diagnosis of this disease is usually not as easy as many think, there is a sign that is usually common in children with autism. It is about the lack of what is known as a "social smile", which can manifest itself even from the first four months.

In general, parents or guardians are the ones who perceive the first signs of autism in the child. Which leads to a visit with a specialist to obtain a correct diagnosis of this disease.

[You may also be interested in: Tips to calm the crisis of a child with autism]

What are the causes of autism?

The truth is that there is no specific cause that is directly related to the appearance of autism. In some cases it can be genetic, due to a link to family history. It could also be neurological, caused by an injury in some part of the brain linked to the learning process. Another of the causes of autism it can be linked to an infectious or biochemical agent.

How do you know if a child has autism?

The autism symptoms they can manifest themselves in different ways, as well as various levels of severity. Even so, it is possible to identify when a child has one or more signs related to this disease. The most common signs of autism are:

They are usually distant

One of the characteristics of autism in children, it is that they can become distant even with their parents. Normally, children with this type of disease do not understand the meaning of facial gestures. They also tend to have an emotional disconnect, so their reaction will never be the same as a normal child.

Lack of empathy

Children with autism show serious problems empathizing with other people. This has a lot to do with what is known as "theory of mind." Although the lack of empathy is quite difficult to diagnose in young children, there are some signs that facilitate its detection.

Children with autism are generally unable to appreciate or understand most situations from the point of view of others. It is mainly because they believe that other people understand in the same way that they can. What generates confusion and in most cases, it is difficult for them to understand the actions carried out by other people.

Little or no social interaction

Without a doubt this is one of the most representative symptoms in autism. Children in general, tend to be quite sociable from a very young age. However, those with autism do not usually have much eye contact with other children or adults. In addition, they are not very participatory in the activities or games present for good child development.

Normal children may be very fond of social interaction as well as imitating others. But children with autism are the opposite and these symptoms can appear from 18 months. Notably, children with autism choose solo games and activities, rather than interaction with others.

Repetitive behaviors

Patterns are one of the most noticeable characteristics in children with autism. These children can order objects in the same way hundreds of times. They may also mention a phrase or word in such a repetitive way that it might even seem obsessive.

Delay in speech development

Children usually begin to babble or try to imitate the sounds they perceive from the age of two. In fact, they are capable of pronouncing at least one word when pointing to any kind of object. However, children with this disease take longer to start babbling. And many times they only manage to speak after their parents take them to a speech therapist.

Tendency towards non-verbal communication

By not being able to express themselves through words, children with autism develop a greater tendency towards non-verbal communication. That is, since they cannot speak, they use visual and even physical resources to communicate, such as drawings or signs. In extreme cases, these children with autism can lose their ability to speak.

Little understanding of the figurative sense

Children with autism present serious difficulties when it comes to understanding normal situations. This means that speaking figuratively to them will only cause further confusion. Besides, they cannot distinguish between the different tones of voice, that is, they do not know when a person is sad, angry or happy.

Emotional instability

Some children can control certain kinds of emotions, however, those with autism cannot. In fact, their reactions can become exaggerated no matter the situation. In some cases, they can react inappropriately and even their behavior can become aggressive for themselves and for others.

Subjecting these children to situations that may be entirely new can trigger this type of behavior. And this is where they need the intervention of their parents.

Extreme sensitivity to external stimuli

Very loud noises, certain aromas, too bright lights, intense colors, children with autism are very sensitive to these situations. So they tend to become very agitated when exposed to these environments. The opposite can also happen, that they become stressed by depriving them of certain stimuli to which they are attracted.

Is there any treatment for autism?

As with certain diseases, there is no cure that can eliminate this disease. However, a treatment for autism which aims to improve the quality of life of those who suffer from it.

Ideally, go to a specialist in case any of the signs mentioned in the previous part are observed. It is essential to concentrate on everything related to the development of cognitive and social capacities and of course, on communication.

Patience; like perseverance, they are essential in the treatment of patients with autism. There are a large number of fairly modern therapies that can be of great help to achieve considerable improvement. Some of these therapies use various animals, such as horses or dogs to increase their effectiveness.

What are the types of autism?

There are several types of autism, the best known are the following:

Asperger syndrome: It is one of the most difficult types of autism to diagnose, since the patient shows a medium to high level of intelligence. In this class of autism, the vast majority of symptoms are present, to which is added the obsession with specific subjects or objects.

Kanner syndrome: patients have a fairly limited emotional connection with other people. At the same time, it gives the impression that your mind is on another plane. They get stressed very easily and manifest the common symptoms of autism.

Heller syndrome: It manifests itself after two years of age, although there are cases in which it occurs after 10 years. In addition to the common symptoms, it can be noted that it is unforeseen and even regressive.

Rett syndrome: Most of the time it occurs in girls, which is strange, since autism occurs mostly in boys. At first, the patient leads a normal life in which he can even communicate without any difficulty. However, after a certain period of time a significant setback occurs. In this, most of the abilities obtained so far are lost and some physical problems appear.